SOFIA, Bulgaria (BulgarianMilitary.com) – Seven companies have confirmed their intention to submit proposals for one of the three largest projects related to the modernization of the Bulgarian Army – the one for the building of two multi-purpose patrol boats for the Bulgarian Navy. This was stated yesterday by the Chief of the Bulgarian Navy, Rear Admiral Mitko Petev, cited by the BNR, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
According to Petev, the candidates involve one company from Bulgaria, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain and two German companies as well. Their offers should be submitted by 15 February next year, after that the work of the appointed inter-ministerial working group will begin. It should come up with a proposal which is the most advantageous offer by 5 April. And the shipbuilding contract itself is expected to be signed by 31 May 2019.
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The investment project for the acquisition of 2 multi-functional modular patrol vessels for the Bulgarian Navy has been approved by the 43rd National Assembly in June 2016, at which point, its expected maximum value was BGN 820 million.
BulgarianMilitary.com reminds that, in December, last year, the selected company – Varna-based shipyard MTG Dolphin, submitted a letter to the Ministry of Defence, announcing that it withdrew from the negotiations and the signing of the contract for the implementation of the investment project. As a reason for this was stated the reduction of the project value by 20% for investment expenditure, due to the introduced VAT on all military deals since 1 January 2017. This government decision was the reason several foreign companies, initially interested in the project, to withdraw and not to participate in the procurement.
Earlier this year, the Bulgarian government has adopted an updated version of the project, which takes into account the above-mentioned amendments in the Value Added Tax Act. The main change in the restarted project is its maximum estimated value, namely BGN 984 million (VAT included). Compared to the investment project, initially adopted in 2016, the value of the restarted one is by BGN 164 million higher and it is allocated for payment in 2025 and 2026.
Two new options for acquisition are provided: purchase of a new defence product (modified for the need of the Bulgarian Navy) or licensed production and a combination of developing a new product and modifying an existing one.
The new multi-purpose modular patrol vessels are required to be equipped with basic armaments and ship’s items (options). The project involves the delivery of two multipurpose patrol ships, delivery of spare parts, providing training to the ship crews and integrated logistical support, as well (for the period of 3 years).
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Sources: Sega, Dnevnik