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Romania issues ultimatum to Naval Group for Gowind 2500 class corvettes.

| 2023

According to information published by Defense Romania on June 14, 2023, Romania has issued a strong ultimatum. The French team is expected to sign the corvette contract promptly or risk forfeiting to the subsequent contender.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Egyptian Navy's Gowind class corvette ENS El Fateh. (Picture source: Naval Group)

The Romanian Ministry of National Defense (MApN) addressed the pending corvette contract. Minister Angel Tîlvăr stated that they are expecting a response from Naval Group, a renowned French naval corporation, before the week's end.

This year marks four years since the Ministry of National Defense in Romania awarded the contract for the corvette program to a consortium comprising of the Naval Group from France and the Constanța Shipyard in Romania.

Under the original agreement, the partnership was tasked with the construction of four Gowind 2500 class corvettes for the Romanian Naval Forces. However, progress has been delayed due to financial disagreements between the Naval Group and the Constanța Shipyard, as confirmed by French officials.

The Ministry of Defense has been accommodating, repeatedly extending the deadline for Naval Group and Constanța Shipyard to sign the contract over the past year.

In response to the ongoing delays, Minister Angel Tîlvăr issued a stern warning: If the French party fails to sign the contract within the next three days, MApN will commence discussions with Damen, the runner-up contender.

Tîlvăr was asked about the status of the corvette contract following parliamentary hearings. He mentioned that the French team has until week's end to sign the agreement; otherwise, negotiations will begin with the next candidate.

Upon being asked if he believed that the French team would sign the contract, he replied, "I cannot speculate on behalf of the French team; we are aware of our legal responsibilities in Romania."

He concluded by saying, "It's a 2019 contract that may soon see a resolution, for better or worse."

It's noteworthy that Romania recently decided to acquire Scorpene-type submarines from Naval Group. Meanwhile, Damen, the Dutch company that is next in line, is proposing Sigma 10514 corvettes equipped with American weaponry, with the Italian firm Fincantieri ranking third.

The Dutch company last year reaffirmed its interest and assured its ability to make up for the delay by simultaneously constructing the corvettes at their Romanian shipyards in Galați and Mangalia amid the escalating Russian conflict in the Black Sea. Damen's Galați Shipyard has a proven track record, having already constructed over 30 military vessels for 13 global naval forces.

About the corvettes

Her stealth characteristics, a key feature integrated by the Naval Group, enhance the ship's discrete operational capabilities. Furthermore, the Gowind 2500 can accommodate an onboard helicopter and drones, which lends versatility to its missions.

The vessel is equipped with a comprehensive set of weapons, including a main gun, cannons, surface-to-air missiles, anti-ship missile launchers, and torpedo launchers. For handling electronic threats, it employs systems like the Vigile 200 Tactical R-ESM, Altesse Naval C-ESM, and the Sylena MK2 decoy launcher.

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