DefMin wants to meet President Iohannis
Defence Minister Adrian Tutuianu stated on Thursday that there is no military exercise without incidents, however the incident was handled “professionally,” referring to the fact that a TAB-77 armoured personnel carrier sank in the Borcea distributary during NATO exercises last Saturday.
“There is no military exercise without some incidents. The incident was handled professionally, in the sense that the soldiers were rapidly evacuated. We’ve found the solution to bring the armoured personnel carrier back to the surface. The operations will start today and will continue tomorrow. (…) There is no military exercise without various incidents. Someone jumps with the parachute, it happens to break; someone else loses some equipment. These things happen in all armed forces of the world,” Defence Minister Adrian Tutuianu stated.
He pointed out commissions have been set up to verify the circumstances of the incident, in order to establish whether technical vulnerabilities were to blame.
“We’ve set up commissions that will verify exactly what happened and whether there are vulnerabilities of a technical nature or there were other things that led to that incident.”
“As part of the ‘ARGEDAVA SABER 17’ exercise that took place on the right bank of the Borcea distributary, close to Bordusani locality, on July 15, while practicing water crossing procedures, the crew of a TAB-77 amphibious armoured personnel carrier reported that water began infiltrating inside the carrier. The carrier’s crew and special support forces applied evacuation and rescue procedures that were in line with the standards established,” the Ministry of Defence pointed out in a communique remitted to MEDIAFAX on Wednesday.
No soldier was wounded in the incident.
Tutuianu to meet President Klaus Iohannis to discuss military procurements
Defence Minister Adrian Tutuianu stated on Thursday that he will have “an applied discussion” with President Klaus Iohannis about the procurement plan for the Romanian armed forces, the Supreme Defence Council (CSAT) set to meet in order to approve the document.
“I’ve agreed with President Iohannis and with the presidential advisors who prepare these meetings, that when we have things very well clarified we should be able to convene the CSAT. There are no democratic barriers of any kind. Our interest is to recover the time lost in carrying out these procurements, to be very transparent, that is why I told you we will propose a bill that would be accessible to everyone, and this year we are trying to transform the budget provision into actual procurements for the Romanian Armed Forces,” Defence Minister Adrian Tutuianu stated.
Tutuianu was unable to say when the meeting will take place.
“We’ll have this very applied discussion. Today is July 20, so 22 days have passed since I became minister. I assure you I didn’t sit idle. My schedule starts at 7.30 in the morning and ends at 22 – 22.30. I have two things to do: analysing the procurement programmes, to see where we stand with each of them, what is the best approach from a legal standpoint but also from the standpoint of the need to expedite procedures, and visiting military units and understanding from the servicemen exactly what the needs are and what is the current state of the Romanian Armed Forces,” Tutuianu added.
The minister added that he has already visited eight military units and will visit other barracks next week.
The procurement of F-16 fighter jets is among the priorities. The Romanian state currently has 9 F-16 fighter jets, however the Defence Ministry wants to procure another 36 in the next four years.
“At this moment we have nine, which we are using. Three will arrive in August-September so that’s 12. Our plan, in line with the Air Force’s organisation plan, is to purchase another 36 aircraft of high performances in the next four or five years. The technical details are pending,” the Defence Minister said.
The flight resource of MiG-21 Lancer fighter jets will expire in two or three years’ time, the official pointed out.