Romania’s Ministry of National Defence (MND) has established an ambitious strategy to boost its marine defense capability through procuring a newest mobile coastal defence system.
The MND has confirmed its plans to procure the new mobile anti-ship missile systems for defence purposes at the Black Sea coast, with a quick reaction capability for covering large sea areas and a wide range of hostile vessels.
After Crimea’s annexation and the subsequent military buildup in the peninsula, the Romanian decision makers have signaled their intention to acquire new coastal defense batteries to replace the outdated Rubezh systems.
According to thehotnews.ro, the potential contract is understood to be worth EUR137 million (USD159 million). The contract is expected to be completed between 2018 and 2023.
However, the stake for potential bidders is much higher, as Romania is expected to use the same anti-ship missile systems in the future for its military ships, namely the two frigates that will be modernized and the four multirole corvettes that will be built.
Four US and European groups are interested in this program. These include European group MBDA, US group Boeing, Swedish group Saab and Norwegian group Kongsberg.
Romania is on track to progressively replace its Soviet-design mobile 4K51 Rubezh coastal defense systems and Tarantul I class fast attack crafts by 2023.
This is a sensible course of action given Romania’s coastline, offshore interests and aging fleet. The geography of the Black Sea increases the effectiveness of these type of weapon systems as it diminishes the reaction time of air defense aboard ships. Furthermore, coastal missile batteries are one of the few effective systems Romania can afford.