Famous frigates bought from UK to enter second upgrade stage

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Regele Ferdinand and Regina Maria frigates will be modernised. The National Defence Ministry (MApN) published the call for bids for the second upgrade stage of type 22 R frigates in the e-public procurement system on Wednesday.

“The Regele Ferdinand and Regina Maria frigates will be equipped with surface-to-air missiles, anti-ship missiles and anti-ship missile defence guns or missile systems, as well as with high performance sensors (radars, electro-optical sensors and towed sonar). These will be integrated into a modern computerised Combat Management System that allows the frigates to carry out of the full range of their specific missions,” says the Defence Ministry.

The modernisation of the two frigates was approved in the CSAT meeting, while the revamping works will be fully conducted in Romania.

The two frigates were made in the 80s and Romania bought them from UK for GBP 116 M (about EUR 168 M). The purchase contract was sealed in 2003, during Adrian Năstase government and it stipulated several clauses regarding their upgrade.

In 2006, a scandal related to the two ships’ purchase emerged after the British media disclosed that Romanian politicians would have received a commission of GBP 7 M following the transaction. BAE Systems, which dealt UK’s army transactions, was involved in other rows related to bribing officials to obtain contracts in various countries.

British authorities and the Romanian National Anti-corruption Directorate opened investigations to probe into these serious accusations, but DNA closed down the case in 2009, after the Serious Fraud Office in London informed DNA that the investigation is cut off until new evidence appear.

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