Home Europe Romania halts corvette contract with France’s Naval Group

Romania halts corvette contract with France’s Naval Group

Photo: Gowind corvette by Naval Group

Romania’s Defense Ministry terminated the corvette construction tender awarded to Naval Group due to the French defense company’s delay in contract signing.

In a recent development on August 8, 2023, the Romanian Defense Ministry officially canceled a tender related to the construction of four multifunctional corvettes, a project initially won by France’s Naval Group.

Reportedly, the decision was linked to the French defense company’s inability to promptly conclude the contract within the specified timeframe—a matter that traces back to 2019, when the initial 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion) tender was granted.

The plan encompassed the construction of the ships in Romania over a seven-year period, utilizing the exchange of corvette construction know-how, equipment, and maintenance protocols. The inaugural vessel’s deployment was slated for three years post-agreement signing. Yet, amid financial conflicts due to the COVID-19 pandemic, complications emerged.

The signing was repeatedly deferred until Romanian Defense Minister Angel Tilvar remarked in mid-June that an alternate bidder would be favored if the French company persisted in delaying the signing process.

“The Ministry of National Defense approved on Monday, August 7, the cancellation of a special procedure related to the Multifunctional Corvette Subsidy Program. The decision to cancel the procurement procedure was made because the bidder who was declared the winner failed to sign the framework agreement within the time limits requested by the customer,” the Romanian ministry confirmed for Defense Romania.

Halting the advancement to the offer of the next-ranked bidder, the procedure’s cancellation comes after Romanian defense officials cited funding limitations as the reason for thwarting Dutch group Damen’s bid in 2019, despite its second-place ranking.

Prompted by the Ukrainian conflict, Romania raised its defense spending to 2.5 percent of GDP in 2023, compared to last year’s two percent. However, the possibility of Damen being chosen as the primary contractor remains uncertain.