1 Apr 2016 Leave a comment
According to Sofia News Agency, Bulgarian defence minister Nikolay Nenchev announced that Bulgaria was planing to spend up to $477.80 million to procure two multi purpose warships.
The procurement cost, which comprises armaments, equipment and communication systems for the ships, could be one-third lower if the vessels were built in Bulgaria, Nenchev said during a visit to the Black Sea city of Varna on Thursday, according to a statement of the Defence Ministry.
“Within three-and-a half to six years the Navy will have two completed vessels,” Nenchev said.
The project will be submitted to Parliament in the next few days and the lawmakers are expected to approve it by the end of May, Nenchev added.
Preliminary talks have already been held with EU and NATO member states about potential acquisition of patrol ships, according to the statement.
It is the high time for Bulgaria to invest in new warships to protect her interests in the Black Sea.
The Bulgarian Navy has terminated its submarine service after 94 years and decommissioned her sole submarine in 2011. The 3 Wielingen class frigates and one Tripartite class mine hunter all bought from Belgium are the only new warships commissioned into naval service since the end of the Cold War. Thus around the year 2022 when the above mentioned two new warships are commissioned, the 3 Wielingen frigates Drazki, Verni and Gordi will be almost 45 years old.
I do not think Turkey’s burgeoning naval ship building industry despite its close geographical location will have much chance to win the bid for these ships. French, Dutch or German companies may have an advantage here.