DEFENCE

DefMin Motoc: European allies owning F-16 aircraft responded to requests, yet that’s not enough

Romania received answers from the European allied states possessing F-16 aircraft, and yet this isn’t enough to start negotiations regarding the purchase of a new squadron of this type of aircraft, on Wednesday night said the National Defence Minister Mihnea Motoc.

“Surely we received answers to the letters sent to my counterparts of the European allied states having F-16 aircraft. Nevertheless it’s not enough to already engage in the negotiation of a squadron type aircraft. Currently, we are having discussions, together with partners form Portugal, with the manufacturing country, the USA that has the best overview regarding the capabilities for such machines,” Motoc stated.

He mentioned that Romania is hasting to have this discussions because the preliminary procedures, until they reach the stage of starting the purchase program, “take about two years.”

Moreover, the minister assured that there is money in the budget for the F-16 flight hours. He mentioned that there is a minimal number of flight hours which the pilots of this type of aircraft must complete, according to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) standards.

“Maybe there is an answer to why we took used aircraft, even if they are upgraded and not buy new ones, why we preferred this formula and not the other. This type of answers reveals a judicial option, in regards to what we can afford, but assures a performing capability. I have no doubt that we made the best choice from this point of view,” Motoc added.

Romania on Wednesday took over officially the first six F-16 aircraft from the Portuguese base in Monte Real, from a total of 12 planes, bought for 682 million Euros.

Minister Motoc had stated in February that Romania intends to purchase another 12 aircraft F-16 type.

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