WARSAW, Poland — The Romanian government has approved a decision to spend at least €137 million (U.S. $159 million), excluding the value-added tax, on the purchase of anti-ship missiles that are to be deployed to the country’s Black Sea coast.

The Cabinet approved the planned acquisition along with other programs of strategic importance developed by the Defence Ministry, the government said in a statement.

Romanian Defence Minister Mihai Fifor has said he planned to award the contract by the end of the year.

Local news site Hotnews.ro reported that the potential bidders for the contract, which is scheduled to be financed in the years 2018-2023, could comprise one American and three European manufacturers. These include Boeing, offering its Harpoon missiles; MBDA, with the Exocet MM40 Block 3 systems; Kongsberg, offering its Naval Strike Missile; and Saab, with the RBS-15 Mk3 systems, produced in cooperation with Diehl BGT Defence.

Last February, Bucharest inked a letter of agreement with the U.S. government to purchase the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System and Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems. The Romanian Cabinet is also pursuing plans to acquire Patriot air and missile defense systems after it signed an agreement last November.

Jaroslaw Adamowski is the Poland correspondent for Defense News.

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