Romania to purchase submarines, tanks, minehunters as part of army modernization program
The Romanian legislative recently approved the initiation of procurement procedures part of the Romanian army’s modernization program. This includes the purchase of two Scorpene submarines from the French company Naval Group and the acquisition of two "in-service, modernized" minehunters through a government-to-government agreement with the UK, not to mention Abrams tanks from the US.
The Romanian Ministry of Defense also requested Parliament's approval for initiating the procedure for awarding the procurement contract for the "Main Battle Tank" modernization program, Phase I. Specifically, this involves acquiring a battalion of 54 American Abrams tanks. These tanks will be upgraded to the M1A2 variant. Furthermore, 12 "derivatives" will be purchased, based on tank chassis, from the inventory of the US Army, along with ammunition and training simulators.
The modernization program for these tanks, with an estimated total value of EUR 1 bln, will commence in 2023, according to Digi24.
The Ministry of Defense's request also includes the "Minehunter" modernization program, which consists of:
- A government-to-government agreement with the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for 2 in-service Sandown-class naval platforms, modernized according to the specifications provided by the Naval Force specialists at a shipyard in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The estimated value is EUR 112.5 mln.
- A procurement contract awarded through a negotiated procedure without prior publication of a contract notice with the naval platform constructor Babcock International Group for initial logistic support. The estimated value is EUR 13.4 mln.
- A procurement contract awarded through a negotiated procedure without prior publication of a contract notice with the certified economic operator of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Atlas Electronik UK, for the purchasing of autonomous research systems and destruction charges related to the mine countermeasure system (SEAFOX) for installation on SANDOWN-class vessels. The estimated value is EUR 24 mln.
The “Minehunter” modernization program, with a total estimated value of EUR 150 mln, excluding VAT, will be carried out over an estimated period of 5 years with the aim of obtaining efficient detection, classification, identification, and destruction/neutralization capabilities for Romanian Naval Forces in marine mine warfare.
Romania will also purchase two Scorpene-class submarines, torpedoes, and countermeasures, initial logistic support, maintenance and testing equipment, and cryptographic equipment for personnel at all necessary levels, including combat use, training equipment, and specific databases. The estimated value of the contract is EUR 2 bln. The modernization program will be carried out over an estimated period of 8 years with the aim of obtaining efficient capabilities for Romanian Naval Forces in operational-strategic reconnaissance and information collection during combat actions against surface vessels and enemy submarines.
The program includes a government-to-government agreement between Romania and the US fof an LOA-type contract, having as an objective the installation of the Naval Strike Missile (NSM) anti-ship missile launching system (2 launchers with 4 missiles per ship). The estimated value is EUR 41 mln. An ammunition package of 48 NSM anti-ship missiles estimated at EUR 190 mln will also be purchased.
Other purchases bring this part of the modernization program to an estimated EUR 375 mln over 4 years. It will upgrade the main combat systems and operational capabilities to the current technological level and ensure a high degree of interoperability with other Romanian and NATO member states' combat units for three missile-capable TARANTUL-class ships in the Romanian Naval Forces inventory.