This is a very old project that goes back to the surface in Bulgaria. Ten years after you have chosen a Naval Group (ex-DCN), and then cancelled the agreement for budgetary reasons, Sofia has recently launched a new call for tenders to acquire two corvettes to equip its navy, according to our information. A budget of € 400 million would be allocated to the purchase of these vessels of war. The two corvettes will be built by the shipyard selected by Sofia, who wish, however, to associate industry to contract, via transfers of technology. The Naval Group is expected to propose the corvettes Gowind, armed by missile from MBDA (Aster and/or VL-Mica?) and already sold to Malaysia, and Egypt.
Neighbor of Turkey, Sofia also wish to acquire combat aircraft and hesitate between the Gripens (eight copies), F-16 Portuguese-owned Portuguese or Eurofighter the Italian opportunity. As to the army, she expressed a need of 200 armoured vehicles.
Emmanuel Macron in Bulgaria
Coincidence (?), the call for tenders on the corvettes was launched a few days before the visit in Bulgaria of Emmanuel Macron, who has to travel to Varna on the Black sea on 24 August. The president of the Republic should slide on August 25, during his talks with the president of the Republic Rumen Radev and the Prime minister Boiko Borisov, a word in favour of the team France, whose Naval Group. As much as it already met last June in Paris, the Bulgarian Prime minister, during which they had discussed the defence of Europe.
“On defense, we discussed our common perspectives, and while I want to reinforce just that, a Europe of defence, as several other member countries have expressed their wish to go in this direction, Bulgaria will have its place to play in this context”, had explained in a joint statement Emmanuel Macron during the visit of Boyko Borisov in last June in Paris.
Emmanuel Macron wants to build closer ties with Bulgaria, which will hold the presidency of the european Union in the first half of 2018. This visit will also be “a symbol of the renewed interest of France to eastern Europe”, stresses the French embassy in Bulgaria. Because before you go in Bulgaria, the French president will make a quick visit to Romania (August 24).
Romania also wants to corvettes
Just like Bulgaria, Romania wishes to also acquire corvettes. It is the Defence minister Adrian Tutuianu, who announced last Tuesday that he will send this fall to Parliament a draft law on the purchase of corvettes, as well as the modernization of the frigates, according to the Romanian press. The folder is currently at a stage of inter-ministerial. The minister has insured that Romanian industry is expected to produce “a good part” of corvettes.
This project will be launched only on the condition that Romania does not yield to the sirens in the us. The United States wishes to sell an air defence system Patriot type (Raytheon). If that was the case, it assécherait all credits for the ministry of Defence of romania, believed that in Paris. The us State department has approved the “sale possible” of the Patriot for an amount estimated at $ 3.9 billion.