COLOGNE, Germany — The Romanian government has picked Naval Group to build four Gowind corvettes for the Black Sea nation in a deal worth €1.2 billion (U.S. $1.4 billion).
The contract also includes modernizing the country’s two T-22 frigates and construction of a maintenance and training center, according to a statement by the French shipbuilder. Local yard Santierul Naval Constanta partnered with Naval Group for the bid.
The Gowind multimission corvettes come with Naval Group’s Setis combat management system, advertised on the company’s website as suitable for “heavily armed surface combatants.” In addition, the corvettes will boast MBDA-made missiles and a Thales-made radar, Reuters reported Wednesday.
Naval Group expects delivery of the first ship in 2022, though details depend on when the contract is signed, according to a company spokeswoman.
Romania borders the volatile Black Sea region, where Russia, Ukraine and NATO members have been warily eyeing one another since Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.
The selection of Naval Group caps a drama-filled competition process in Romania. French newspaper La Tribune reported that Italian competitor Fincantieri, with which Naval Group is considering a strategic partnership, had launched a last-ditch effort to appeal the decision in favor of the French. Favoritism inside Romania for another competitor, Damen of the Netherlands, ultimately went nowhere.
Sebastian Sprenger is associate editor for Europe at Defense News, reporting on the state of the defense market in the region, and on U.S.-Europe cooperation and multi-national investments in defense and global security. Previously he served as managing editor for Defense News. He is based in Cologne, Germany.