The Romanian Navy (Forțele Navale Române) has recently reconfirmed its plan to modernise the two Type 22 Batch 2 frigates (F-221 “Regele Ferdinand” / F-222 “Regina Maria”) but the selection of the prime contractor is not expected to emerge earlier than mid-2017. It is worth noting that one of the bidders, the STM / ASELSAN / HAVELSAN / CSR consortium, unilaterally announced its selection last summer but the announcement was never followed by an official contract award or confirmed by the Romanian Ministry of National Defence.
The two frigates were purchased from the United Kingdom in 2003 for £116 million, as part of NATO integration efforts. The agreement included the reactivation of the ships to operational condition and NATO standard, an initial modernisation to meet the specific requirements of the Romanian Navy and a significant Operational Sea Training programme through the Royal Navy’s Flag Officer Sea Training organisation (FOST).
Under the Phase 1 modernisation, both frigates were equipped with an Oto Melara 76/62 Super Rapid gun fitted forward where the 4 x MM-38 Exocet had been mounted, two locally developed Agil 12.7 mm remote weapon stations, a new fire control system based on the AMS NAUTIS 3, a Series 2500 Naval electro-optical system by Ultra Electronics, the Terma DL-12T decoy system with 12 tubes, a new torpedo decoy system, the BAE Systems MPS2000 communications system, an Inmarsat B global maritime distress and safety system, the Sperry Marine Mark 39 ring laser gyro compass and the LMX 420 global positioning system. The flight deck was modified to be able to embark an IAR-330 Puma anti-submarine helicopter and a total of 18 Sting Ray Mod 1 light-weight torpedoes were also purchased.
The Phase 2 upgrade was initially scheduled for 2008 but has been continuously delayed due to flack of funding. With a total budget of RON839 million ($197 million), the international tender, published on March 2016, includes the supply and installation of a new Combat Management System, surface-to-air and surface-to-surface missiles, a close-in weapon system (CIWS), a 3D surveillance radar, an improved electronic warfare suite and a towed sonar. The potential contractors are Lockheed Martin Canada Inc, DCNS, Leonardo SpA and the STM / ASELSAN / HAVELSAN / CSR consortium.