SOFIA, Bulgaria (BulgarianMilitary.com) – As we forecasted a week ago, expectedly and already officially, three companies submitted their price offers for the building of two patrol ships needed by the Bulgarian Navy, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
These are the Bulgarian company MTG Dolphin based in Varna, the Italian Fincantieri shipyard and the German shipyard Lurssen.
The project for the supply of two Bulgarian patrol ships is worth more than BGN 1 billion and is by a long-term program for the modernization of the Bulgarian army, developed by the Ministry of Defence by the means of three major projects – new patrol ships, new armoured machinery and new fighter jets.
BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that the bidding for the Bulgarian ships is actually being held for the second time because at the end of 2017 the then selected winner, MTG Dolphin, refused to sign the contract with the country due to the reduced financial value. This statement comes as an official comment by the Ministry of Defence, but not as such by the Bulgarian company.
The government has repeatedly shared its wish that this project should be implemented by a Bulgarian company. MTG Dolphin is probably the only Bulgarian company that can really do it, being also specialized in the production of battleships and warships as its western competitors are. In the previous edition of the project, the Varna company participated in a consortium with Thales, Diehl Defence, Leonardo, MBDA and Rheinmetall. BulgarianMilitary.com cannot confirm whether MTG Dolphin has been involved in the same way now.
The project provides for the first patrol ship to be launched into water by the end of 2023 and the second one by the end of 2024. The Ministry of Defence has requested price offers for this project from a total of eight companies. The project provides for two options – purchasing a new defence product or production under license.
Bulgaria currently has a total of six warships, three of which are Soviet-made, and the other three are made by Belgium, acquired as second-hand ships in 2005-2008. The presence of Soviet equipment is exactly one of the reasons for the implementation of this project for two main reasons: the old USSR ships are not at the modern state of technology and they are not compatible with NATO standards, so if they are replaced by two new patrol ships, the state will save BGN 7.3 million, according to experts from the Ministry of Defence.
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Translator editor: Monika Evgenieva