Analysis: Will Romania Navy have new corvettes one day?

The DefenseRomania blog asks about the future of the Romanian Naval Forces. Indeed, since the war in Ukraine, a number of Romania's allies rely on the Romanian Navy in the Black Sea.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Admiral Petre Bărbuneanu class corvette Admiral Petre Bărbuneanu. (Picture source: US DoD)

The Romanian Naval Forces have outlined their goals for 2023 and have assessed the past year in a recently published press release. In response to the complex security situation in the Black Sea region and Romania's commitments to EU and NATO, the Naval Forces aim to adapt their national naval policy.

One of the key objectives for the year 2022 was to equip the Navy with modern combat means and to increase personnel training levels. The start of the submarine procurement program in 2023, as well as the acquisition of amphibious assault vehicles and surface combat capable helicopters, is in line with these goals.

However, the failure to start the major corvette procurement program has been a disappointment for the Romanian Navy and has been identified as the main reason for not meeting NATO's capability targets. This failure is compounded by the fact that the Navy is already the most under-equipped force structure in Romania.

The Chief of the Naval Staff has also noted the recent purchase of the Naval Strike Missile system from US-based Raytheon Missiles & Defense as the only addition to their coastal batteries. This purchase follows Romania's signing of a letter of intent with France in 2022 to purchase at least two Scorpene-class submarines.