DEFENCE

DefMin Les: If case of war situations, things get complicated for Romania. Defence industry, down

National Defence Minister Gabriel Les said that in case of a war situation, things would get complicated for Romania, however he gave guarantees that the Army has armament and ammunition stocks to resist until the intervention of the NATO partners.

In an interview to Realitatea TV private television broadcaster, Gabriel Les was asked what would happen if Romania didn’t have where to buy ammunition powder from, as Romania imports this powder from abroad.

“The situation isn’t a very simple one. If a war situation comes, things get complicated very fast. Of course the Romanian Army has stocks, of armament, ammunition, to resist so that, according to the rules, to resist until the partners come to support you (…). We can observe the rules at the moment,” Les said.

Asked if Romania is capable to resist a military conflict for one week, Les said: “We are NATO. We are in the period in which we celebrate 15 years since we have been inside NATO. The attack on one is the attack on everyone and I believe in this thing. We are prepared, not enough, and that is why we are trying to speed up all the acquisitions of the military supply we need.”

“Think that, unfortunately, and I am saying this with deep regret, for a somewhat small ammunition, for very small calibers, at the moment, we don’t produce anything nationwide, other than assembling such ammunition. At this moment, the powder is being bought. Very ambitious projects are initiated, including for the powder plant in Fagaras. We must have a plant producing certain things, which are of major importance. The plant in Fagaras is priority zero,” the minister added.

Gabriel Les admitted that the national defence industry is “down.”

“We are living a quite difficult period, we must admit it. Our capabilities are outdated from many points of view and for a long time. Over the past 25 years, the acquisition programmes within the Defence Ministry have been very few and carried out over a very long time. There was no money. Unfortunately, we hurt everyone and here I want to explain. In the first place, the Army doesn’t have what it should have had. I want to congratulate the Romanian servicemen and the MApN staff, from soldier to general, for the fact that we are still using that technique and it is still functional. Much of this technique is outdated. We move in 30-40-year-old trucks today and they are working, unfortunately with the possibility of the ‘technique’ of the truck failing at any time. Let us not forget that there have been quite serious accidents with such trucks. But from here to continuing with such a technique it is very much and we do not wish this. 25 years of underfunding have left a very serious mark on the specialized industry in Romania. Let us not forget that the defence industry that we have is down. Unfortunately, it is very poorly technologized. No research and development was conducted in this period and we no longer have the capacity to deliver (…). We are talking about quite difficult times. Let us not forget we are in the furthest eastern flank,” the Defence Minister explained.

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