Minister of National Defense Mihai Fifor said on Friday that Romania has accomplished the goals set for this year as regards the endowment of the Army.
“No farther than last week, the Ministry of National Defense has paid for another three ‘PATRIOT’ long-range missile defense systems, which is exactly according to plan. In February this year we paid for the first HIMARS system. The bidding process for the four multi-purpose corvettes that will be built in a Romanian shipyard is in full swing and we hope that in two weeks at the most we will know the outcome of the procedure. We are also in full process of negotiation with the Craiova aircraft factory for the upgrade of the Hawk IAR-99 airplane, and we hope to close the procedure this year. The procurement of the multi-purpose wheeled vehicles, specifically for the trucks for the Romanian Army is also underway,” DefMin Mihai Fifor said.
He also mentioned that the first two PIRANHA 5 8×8 armored carriers have left the facility of Swiss manufacturer Mowag, heading for the Bucharest Mechanical Plant; the two are the first of a fleet of 36 carriers that will endow the Romanian Army under the first major Armed Forces equipment program carried out with the allocation of 2 percent of GDP for Defense.
“We can say that this year, the government has shown that Romania is a good and trustworthy partner for the North Atlantic Alliance, but also within the strategic partnership with the US. Let me remind you that this is the second consecutive year where the Romanian Government allocates 2 percent of the GDP for Defense. Premier Viorica Dancila has made it perfectly clear that this allocation will continue in the following years. As a matter of fact, the 2019 budget draft for the Ministry of National Defense is ready, the budget allocation is equally 2 percent, with major to-dos to accomplish next year,” said Minister Mihai Fifor.
“Drawing the line, we can say yes, Romania has once again shown that it is a credible partner to the North Atlantic Alliance and also for the strategic partnership with the US,” the Minister of National Defense concluded.