The Ministry of Defence (MoD) informed on Wednesday that it has received from the U.S. Government the letter of acceptance on the purchase of the first Patriot surface-to-air missile system battery worth USD 764.78 million.
This is the first of seven Patriot batteries – four for the Romanian Air Force and three for the Romanian Land Forces –, the programme having a total value of USD 3.9 billion, VAT not included.
The cost of the battery for which the letter of acceptance was received is estimated at USD 764.78 million, VAT not included, and will be contracted by the end of this year, after Parliament adopts the bill on the procurement.
The procurement of modern long-range surface-to-air missile systems that are interoperable with the surface-to-air missile systems, command, control and communications systems and multirole platforms of the Romanian armed forces or of other NATO member states represents an essential necessity, a strategic requirement that must be met in the shortest of times, the MoD points out.
Romania will use the Patriot system to strengthen its own defence and to deter regional threats.
The PAC-3+ configuration that Romania will purchase is the most modern configuration currently on the market from the standpoint of the hardware and software configuration and of the ground-based equipment and missiles, and by the end of the year Romania will become one of only six NATO states that meet the commitment of allocating 2 percent of GDP for defence, the MoD adds.
Through the Letter of Request (LOR) for Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) for Current Production Configuration 3+ PATRIOT System, a document lodged with the U.S. Department of Defence, the MoD expressed its interest in purchasing seven PAC-3+ batteries, major equipment, prime movers, support equipment, spare and repair parts, ammunition, initial logistics support package, training services, special communications equipment.
On July 11, the U.S. State Department announced that it approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to Romania for Patriot Configuration-3+ Fire Units, at an estimated cost of USD 3.9 billion, VAT not included, and that it notified the U.S. Congress in line with procedures.
DefMin Fifor: With the purchase of Patriot missile systems, Romania joins a select club
Defence Minister Mihai Fifor told a television show on Tuesday that with the acquisition of the Patriot missile system, Romania will enter a “select club,” and that shows the US trusts its Romanian partner.
“I wanted to point out that Romania is joining a select club at the moment. Not every state of the European Union or the world has Patriot systems. (…) Some naysayers argue that whoever has money buys. No, that is not so. The US Government does not deliver to anyone, and the fact that it is delivering to Romania shows that the US has a great deal of trust in its Romanian partner,” Fifor told Antena 3 private television broadcaster.
Fifor also said that the bill for the purchase of the first Patriot missile package will most likely be unveiled to the Government on Wednesday and then to Parliament.
“We are on schedule. (…) Tomorrow, at the Government meeting, we hope to be able to pass through the bill to buy the first Patriot system. If not, then at an extraordinary meeting of the Government on Friday; we will finalise this and next week, on Monday, the bill will be subjected to parliamentary debates, hopefully under emergency procedure (…), so that we may pass this law very, very quickly. When the law is promulgated and enters into force, then we will be able to sign the letter and the contract,” said Fifor.
According to him, the Patriot acquisition contract has a total value of 3.9 billion dollars.
“We will buy the first system from this year’s budget. We have a staggered graph covering eight years; basically we are talking about the 2017-2026 acquisition programme and we are buying seven systems. (…) Money will be available. In the draft 2018 budget, the Ministry of Defense is allocating 2 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), because we respect our commitments to NATO and our strategic partner,” said Fifor.