The Romanian government has contracted France’s Naval Group to build four Gowind corvettes for $1.4 Billion (Euro 1.2 Billion), making it the country’s first big purchase for its naval forces in 30 years.
“I strongly believe it’s an important moment for Romania’s naval forces which haven’t received any new equipment in the last 30 years,” Gabriel Les, Romania’s defense minister, said Wednesday.
The contract includes purchase of 4 new vessels, renovation of a further two and modernizing the country’s two T-22 frigates in addition to construction of a maintenance and training center, according to a statement by the French shipbuilder.
The Gowind multi-mission corvettes come with Naval Group’s SETIS combat management system. In addition, the corvettes will boast MBDA-made missiles and Thales-made radar, according to Reuters.
Naval Group ousted Italian group Ficantieri and the Dutch group Damen who were also vouching for the contract in winning the mega-deal.
According to Les, “the French group fulfilled the technical criteria and offered the lowest price.”
Naval Group is due to build the first corvette within three years and the others will be delivered before 2026.
The Gowind-class corvettes are designed to conduct missions in littoral zone such as anti-submarine warfare (ASW). The Gowind family includes vessels with lengths from 85 m to 102 m and displacement from 1,000 t to 2,500 tonnes. The warships can deploy Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs) and Underwater Unmanned Vehicles (UUVs). An aft deck has been provided allowing for a 10-ton class helicopter or a UAV.