MoD to spend billions modernizing Kogălniceanu Air Base

The Ministry of National Defense has opened the bidding for modernization works of the 57th Mihail Kogălniceanu Air Base, with the total investment estimated to reach RON 10 billion (~EUR 2.04 billion).

The government has launched the first stage of the mega-project, which will expand, upgrade, and modernize the infrastructure of the air base in Constanta County, Romanian news outlet Ziare reports. The final goal of the project is to transform the military base into one of the most important NATO facilities in the region.

The government claims the multi-billion-euro investment is justified

The government justifies this huge investment with the resurgence of Cold War–reminiscent antagonism and the forced annexation of the Crimean Peninsula by the Russian Federation in 2014. Since then, the political status of Crimea has been disputed between Ukraine and Russia. While Russia claims the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol have been fully integrated since July 2015 and thus fall under its federal jurisdiction, Ukraine and the majority of international governments consider Crimea occupied Ukrainian territory.

Bidding is open

The government has opened up the bidding for the modernization program’s first stage on the national online public acquisition platform e-licitatie (SEAP), with an estimated cost of RON 2.1 billion (EUR 430 million). This includes construction work for airfields, runways, and maneuvering surfaces with a deadline of 106 months. Bidding is open until the end of May 2021, and the final date for sending out invitations to submit tenders or for selected partners to participate in the tendering process is the end of September.

The massive modernization works will last years, and the contract will be classified, but when finished, the 57th Mihail Kogălniceanu Air Base will practically become a city, as it will also have its own hospital, General Alexandru Grumaz told Romanian media in 2019.

Title image courtesy of Mm.IV. Bogdan Aaron PANTILIMON, BIRP

Author: István Fekete