The government on Thursday approved the draft law regarding the acquisition of 32 F-16 aircraft from Norway.
According to the project for the development of the transitional air operational capability provided in the Concept of gradual development of the air defence capability, within the programme “Air Force Multirole Plane,” the Government of Romania will award to the Government of the Kingdom of Norway the procurement contract for the F 16, with initial logistical support and a complementary package of goods and services (from the Government of the United States of America).
The Ministry of National Defence (MApN) states in a press release that the planes will be delivered in operational condition, their available resource ensuring their operation for a transition period of at least 10 years, to the 5th generation planes, which actually makes the acquisition of the aircraft from the Norwegian Government a transfer of capability between two NATO allies.
The acquisition by the Government of the Kingdom of Norway of the package of 32 F-16 aircraft also includes the training of a minimum number of specialists in the aviation technical-engineering personnel of the Air Force necessary for the assignment of key functions in the planning and execution structures of maintenance while also ensuring the logistics planning at the Air Force Base and Air Force Staff for the two F-16 squadron aircraft.
“This solution ensures, in a short period of time, the creation at the level of the squadrons of the minimum operational, maintenance, planning and driving capability strictly necessary for the safe operation of the F-16 aircraft to be purchased,” the source said. .
The estimated funds for the acquisition are about 454 million euros, excluding VAT. The Ministry of National Defence states that, in the context of the complexity of the programme, the necessary financial resources will be determined exactly after the initiation of the acquisition procedures and the start of discussions with representatives of the Government of Norway and the Government of the United States of America.
Currently, the Romanian Air Force has 17 F-16 aircraft in M5.2R configuration, which will be upgraded to M6.X configuration, purchased based on the provisions of the Concept of gradual development of the air defence capability within the programme “Multi-role aircraft of Air Force.”
The missions of the Permanent Combat Service – Air Police (SLP-PA) are carried out with F-16 and MiG-21 LanceR aircraft, but the use of the latter is a short-term solution (one year).
The Ministry of National Defence points out that the gradual decommissioning of the MiG-21 LanceR aircraft and the need for the permanent execution of the Combat Service – Air Police with F-16 aircraft, corroborated with the development of the regional security environment, determined the need to identify a solution. Romania’s airspace with F-16 aircraft and the execution of the SLP-PA with F-16 aircraft, according to its commitments to NATO.
The Romanian Parliament approved the initiation by the Ministry of National Defence of the procurement procedure for the package of 32 aircraft from the Government of the Kingdom of Norway and the package of goods and services complementary from the Government of the United States of America, in the joint meeting of the standing bureaus of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate.