Romania To Reactivate Sub "Fleet"
When I worked at CENTCOM with the liaison officers from our allies in Iraq and Afghanistan, I always enjoyed visiting the Romanian trailer. At the time, Romania was just getting ready to join NATO, and they seemed to take their new responsibilities very seriously. (I also liked the fact that they had their own C-130s, so I didn't have to arrange transport for their troops heading to Iraq.)
The Romanian Army is, well, a post-Warsaw Pact army that's getting much better. Their Navy, on the other hand, has seen better days. That's why I'm excited to see that they're budgeting the money (second story down) to reactive their submarine, the Delfinul:
"The Ministry of National Defence will spend some 50m euros for the reactivation of the only submarine of the Romanian Naval Forces.
"The Minister of National Defence Teodor Atanasiu, attending on Wednesday [24 August] the works of the Summer School of the Liberal Youth, told Rompres that the budget for the next year will include a special chapter for the reactivation of "Delfinul" submarine.
"Atanasiu said that the operation might cost up to 50 million euros. The minister said that the submarine is a redoubtable naval element for the national safety and discourages any possible threats against Romania. The Romanian army cannot afford to give it up as it might support the newly acquired British frigates "King Carol" and "Queen Mary". [Hyperlink mine] "It is an important weapon for any army in the world and we must not forget that this generation of submarines, that "Delfinul" is part of, is one of the most modern that currently operate in the Black Sea," Atansasiu said.
"Delfinul", part of Kilo class, is built in the former Soviet Union and was bought by the Romanian Naval Forces in 1981. It has a displacement of 2,300 tonnes surfaced and 3,000 tonnes submerged, 72 metres length, and is equipped with a diesel-electric propulsion that propels the ship with 20 knots submerged."
The 50M euros is a substantial portion of the Romanian naval budget (normally about $830M euros). This report, plus the news that Romania is taking the rotating command of the Black Sea Naval Cooperation Task Force, as well as reports of recent exercises with the U.S. Navy, all show that Romania is ready to take their rightful place in naval leadership in the Black Sea. The other big hurdle, of course, will be training the crews of the refurbished boat. I hope that they'll investigate a partnership with the Poles, who have shown significant proficiency in operating their Kilos.