The three programs improving the defense capabilities of the navy are an integral part of the transformation of the Romanian army to be implemented by 2040, undertaken before the European Union and NATO allies, for which it is essential to increase the striking ability, firepower, adaptability and survival chances of the combat formations, meeting the requirements of the 21st century acquisition of weapons and combat equipment – read the justification of the Ministry of Defense.
The ministry wants to improve the navy’s surface and underwater combat capabilities, and the submarines to be procured are intended to destroy, neutralize or deter enemy ships, and to carry out reconnaissance operations.
They will have to carry out their missions in cooperation with allied ships or independently, in international or even hostile waters, in dangerous zones, where appropriate, at a great distance from the base, reads the transcript presented to the parliament.
According to the Bucharest media, Romania would buy Scorpene-class submarines – produced by the French Naval Group: last summer, then Defense Minister Vasile Dincu signed a letter of intent with his French partner. So far, there is no official information on how many submarines the MPAN wants and how much money it would spend on this program, but a former head of the ministry, Mihai Fifor, said years ago that they planned to acquire three submarines, and the current Minister of Defense Agel Tilvar told the parliament in his letter, he referred to the fact that the acceleration of the modernization of the Romanian army became possible after Romania increased its defense spending to 2.5 percent of GDP starting in 2023.
In Romania, prior parliamentary approval is required to start public procurements worth more than 100 million euros, and for the Ministry of Defense to start direct negotiations with potential partners. According to Agerpres, the launch of programs aimed at the development of the navy will be decided at a joint session of the bicameral parliament.
Romania has a Soviet-made Kilo-class submarine commissioned in 1985, but it has not left the Constanta military port since 1996, as its batteries – and in the meantime other equipment – have become unusable. According to Romanian public television, the 73-meter-long Delfinul spent about 2,000 hours underwater in the Black Sea during its decade of activity, with fifty sailors on board, and fired 34 torpedoes.
Cover image: Getty Images
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