Deadline for decision on Bulgaria’s new naval patrol vessels set for after European Parliament elections

A report by an interministerial committee on the three bids submitted to supply the Bulgarian Navy with two naval patrol vessels is to be submitted to the Cabinet by June 12, Navy commander Rear Admiral Mitko Petev said on April 22.

The three companies that met the April 16 5pm deadline to submit bids are Fr. Lürssen Werft GmbH & Co.KG of Germany, MTG Delfin AD of Bulgaria, and Fincantieri of Italy.

The offers were opened at a ceremony at the Defence Ministry on April 22, but the opening of the price offers by the three companies will take place only on May 29, the latter date three days after Bulgaria goes to the polls in the 2019 European Parliament elections.

Should the outcome of those elections have domestic repercussions, the process could be delayed again.

Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Velichkov, head of the interministerial committee that is to examine the bids, said that final ranking would take place after the price offers were opened.

He said that the winner of the competition would be determined on the basis of four criteria – the ship’s capabilities, price, industrial co-operation and logistics support. The evaluation will take place in two stages, with the assessment of the technical characteristics of the bids being done first.

The Bulgarian Navy currently has six naval vessels, three dating from the Soviet era and the rest second-hand former Belgian vessels. The three from the USSR era have difficulties in getting spare parts and are not compatible with the standards of the Nato alliance which Bulgaria joined in 2004.

The project envisages the two new vessels replacing the Soviet-era three.

In July 2018, Bulgaria’s National Assembly approved an updated version of the project, envisaging spending a maximum 984 million leva, value-added tax included (about 503 million euro).



The Sofia Globe staff

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