Romania will acquire five new F-16 aircraft from the government of the Portuguese Republic, according to a bill approved on Thursday by the Romanian government.
According to a press statement released by the Defence Ministry (MApN), “the Romanian government endorsed, at a meeting on Thursday a bill for the further development of the air operational capability included in the initial transition stage of the gradual design of the air defence capability under the ‘Multi-role aircraft of the Romanian Air Forces’ programme.'”
The legislative proposal will be submitted to Parliament for urgent debate and approval.
“According to the document, the government of Romania will award to the government of the Portuguese Republic a contract for the purchase of five surplus F-16A aircraft, of a package of goods and services that includes the upgrading of the F-16 aircraft owned by the Romanian Air Force, logistics support and training of technical engineering staff. At the same time, the US Administration will be issued letters of offer and acceptance agreements – LOA specific to Foreign Military Sales Program – FMS for the acquisition of the package of goods and services complementary to the above. The award of the contracts will comply with the provisions of Article 22 (f) of Government Emergency Ordinance 114 / 2011, as subsequently amended and supplemented by Law 195/2012, as subsequently amended and supplemented. Signatory of the award contracts in Romania’s case will be its Ministry of National Defence,” the release reads.
MApN officials say the five aircraft will have the same configuration as the 12 already equipping the Romanian Air Force, and the package of goods and services also includes the modernization of all F-16 aircraft of the Romanian Army to M.6.X, a higher configuration.
At the same time, MApN shows that “the implementation of the contracts provided for in the bill will allow for an increase in the level of training of the technical engineering personnel and to create, at the level of the Romanian Air Forces, the capacity of capital repairs for the engines of the F-16s, which will lead to an increase in the readiness of the fleet, as well as a decrease in maintenance costs.”
“The solution also ensures the premises of the involvement of the national defence industry in the execution of maintenance works, of capital repairs on engines and the upgrade of the F-16 aircraft, through the business operator that is designated maintenance centre for F-16 aircraft by the Romanian government, which will in turn contribute to the consolidation and maintenance of operational air capability,” the release also reads.
Of the batch of five aircraft, the first four will arrive in 2020, and the last in 2021. The five F-16 aircraft will join the 12 already conducting national and NATO air policing.