Minister of National Defense Vasile Dincu met on Wednesday with his Norwegian counterpart Odd Roger Enoksen on the sidelines of the NATO Defense Ministers meeting taking place until Thursday in Brussels, the National Defense Ministry informs.
According to the cited source, the two Defense officials discussed the identification of new opportunities for bilateral cooperation, including in areas such as training, military education and scientific research.
Minister Dincu highlighted the participation of the forces of the two states in the computer-assisted command post exercise STEADFAST JUPITER 21 carried out in Norway and Poland, “where collaboration was excellent and particularly useful”.
At bilateral level, the two officials also tackled the subject of technical and military cooperation in the context of the approval by the Romanian Parliament, in December last year, of the initiation of the procedure for the purchase of 32 F-16 aircraft plus logistical support from the Government of Norway.
Regarding the Black Sea region, the Romanian Defense Minister underlined the paramount importance an enhanced, credible, coherent and balanced collective defense posture on NATO’s eastern flank has in discouraging Russia.
“Our country strongly supports the adaptation of the Alliance’s posture through the deployment of Allied combat groups to Central and Eastern Europe, Romania included. These combat groups are a preventive measure, they have a defensive character and are aimed at discouraging and preventing escalation,” Vasile Dincu emphasized.
The National Defense Ministry announced on December 22 having received the prior approval to initiate the procedure for the purchase of 32 F-16 aircraft in M6.5.2 configuration plus the related logistical support from the Government of Norway, as well as of the overhaul equipment and services from the US Government, which are all required for achieving the Transitional Air Operational Capability.
The planes will be handed over in full operational condition and are expected to cover a transition period of at least 10 years to 5th generation aircraft.
The estimated purchase figure is about 454 million euros, VAT excluded, covering both the package proposed by the Government of Norway and the aircraft overhaul equipment and services that will be acquired from the U.S. Government.