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Bulgaria approves the purchase of new patrol ships from the German company Lürssen.

| 2020

According to information published by the "Bulgarian Military" website on November 6, 2020, the Bulgarian Ministry of Defense (MoD) has received approval from The Council of Ministers for the purchase of two new modular patrol ships OPV (Offshore Patrol Vessel) types from the German company Lürssen.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 German Company Lurssen has developed a full range of OPV Offshore Patrol Vessels. (Picture source Lurssen)

An OPV (Offshore Patrol Vessel) is a patrol boat typically smaller in size than a corvette and can include fast attack craft, torpedo boats and missile boats, although some are as large as a frigate. The offshore patrol vessels are usually the smallest ship in a navy's fleet that is large and seaworthy enough to patrol off-shore in the open ocean.

In April 2019, the Milmag website has announced that three companies have submitted a bid to respond to the Bulgarian tender for new patrol vessels. The three candidates German Lürssen with its modified OPV 80/85/90 series vessel, Italian Fincantieri with its Abu Dhabi class corvette and the local shipyard manufacturer MTG Dolphin offering a modified version of its K-90 multi-role corvette.

Citing, the Bulgarian Navy has a requirement for two modular, multi-role patrol vessels, which would be capable of performing various types of tasks, such as anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare

According to local media, the Bulgarian Ministry of Defense (MoD) has requested a ship that will be armed with one 76mm naval gun, anti-ship and surface-to-air missiles, lightweight torpedos and close-in weapon systems for self-defence. The ship will also have a flight deck to accommodate a medium-sized helicopter.

The German company Lürssen is a global leader in the design and construction of high-quality ships for customers all over the world. For more than 140 years, Lürssen have earned the reputation, experience and expertise required to build vessels that meet virtually any set of individual requirements and with varying demands.

Lürssen has developed three types of OPVs including OPV 80, 85, 90. The OPV 90 can be armed with one 76mm naval gun, 4 x MM40 EXOCET or 4 x RBS 15 Mk3 or 4 x NSM anti-ship missiles, 1 VLS Mk56 or RIM-116 RAM air defense missile system, two Decoy (e.g. MASS or SWKS), two Remote Controlled 20mm automatic cannon and two .50 M2HB Machine Guns.

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