About 20 military aircraft, including F-16 Fighting Falcon, C-130 Hercules, C-27J Spartan, Antonov AN-30, IAR-330, IAR-99 belonging to the Romanian Air Force and two Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft belonging to the UK’s Royal Air Force flew over Bucharest City on Wednesday, July 20, Aviation Day.
They were joined by two Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft of the Italian Air Force, two EC-135 helicopters belonging to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, two IAR-330 Puma helicopters of the Romanian Intelligence Service, a Boeing 737 aircraft belonging to Tarom, as well as four aircraft 300 belonging to the Romanian Aeroclub, according to the Defence Ministry (MApN).
The ceremony, which took place at the Air Heroes Monument in Aviatorilor Square, was attended by the Defence Minister Vasile Dincu and Romania’s Chief of Defence Daniel Petrescu.
Military aircraft will fly over the next towns and cities to celebrate Aviation Day: Adjud, Aiud, Alba Iulia, Barlad, Botosani, Braila, Caracal, Campia Turzii, Cluj-Napoca, Dej, Focsani, Galati, Gherla, Grosii Tiblesului, Medias, Onesti, Piatra Neamt, Sighisoara, Suceava, Targu Neamt, Tecuci, Targu Lapus, Targu Mures, Turda and Vaslui.
The overflight of the aircraft will be executed in compliance with the aeronautical regulations in force and all the necessary safety measures will be taken so that the impact on the local community will be minimal, MApN announced.
President Iohannis: Romanian Air Force has gone through an extensive process of modernization
President Klaus Iohannis sent a message on Wednesday on the occasion of Aviation Day, in which he underlined that the Romanian Air Force has gone through “an extensive” process of modernization and consolidation, being currently “a category of homogeneous, dynamic and supple forces, able to carry out the whole range of missions.”
“The Romanian Aviation and Air Force Day, celebrated together with that of the Holy Prophet Elijah on July 20, is a good occasion to pay tribute to those who have served or are serving with dedication, courage and selflessness the Romanian civilian or military aviation. On this day, we commemorate, with deep gratitude and appreciation, all the aviators who made the supreme sacrifice in the service of the ‘Romanian wings’. At the same time, today we pay tribute to the pioneers of Romanian aviation – Aurel Vlaicu, Traian Vuia, Henri Coanda, Elie Carafoli, as well as to all those who, through devotion and involvement, have contributed to the increase in the prestige of the Romanian aeronautics at international level. Those who are currently working with the Romanian Aviation and the Air Force have the noble mission to continue and honour their predecessors’ efforts, in a complicated security context,” the head of state said.
According to him, the Romanian Air Force has undergone an extensive process of modernization and consolidation, being currently “a homogeneous, dynamic and flexible category of forces, able to carry out the full range of missions: ensuring the sovereignty of the national airspace, participating in exercises and combat missions in an allied context, the execution of air transport, including those of a humanitarian nature, participation in the limitation and elimination of the consequences of natural disasters or other emergency situations.”
President Iohannis pointed out that, in the current context, the Air Force, together with similar allied structures, is one of the most important response tools.
“Dear aviators and members of the Air Force, we are going through a particularly difficult period in terms of regional and Euro-Atlantic security. The military invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation has significantly changed the strategic reality in the Black Sea region. Romania’s role in this context is significant. As a border state of NATO and the European Union, our country has a mission to respond quickly to military security challenges in the region. With full professionalism and involvement, the Air Force, together with similar allied structures, is one of the most important response tools, thus ensuring the security of the airspace of Romania and of the allied one,” Iohannis highlighted.
The head of state added that the new security environment on NATO’s Eastern Flank requires the promotion of military structures with a high operational degree, endowed with modern means and able to react in a short time.
“In this regard, endowment programs are underway to increase efficiency in military operations, and the modernization of the Air Force will continue with the acquisition of an additional number of F-16 aircraft, which will constitute a transitional air operational capability to F-35 aircraft of the latest generation,” Iohannis specified.
He thanked the airmen and members of the Air Force for their professionalism and spirit of sacrifice.
“You make the Romanian airspace safer and contribute to the security of the air borders of Romania, the European Union and NATO. I urge you to continuously prepare and show the same dedication and devotion in all the missions you receive,” Iohannis added.
PM Ciuca: Aviators give us confidence that Romania’s airspace is safe and protected
Aviators, through their level of professional training, give us confidence that the country’s airspace is safe and protected when needed and that they will always be with the civilian population in emergencies, Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca said in a message on Wednesday, July 20, Romanian Aviation and Air Force Day.
“Today, we are celebrating the Romanian Aviation and Air Force, also paying homage to the aviator heroes killed in action for the defence of the country or on international missions in which Romania participated. Always up high because of their trade and training, these people give us confidence that the country’s airspace is safe and protected in case when needed and that they will always be with the civilian population in emergencies. The trust and good name Romania’s flight professionals enjoy are the outcome of many years of training, seriousness and courage with which they dedicate themselves to a career as beautiful as it is difficult, which requires a maximum degree of responsibility,” Ciuca points out.
Ciuca added that over the last 30 years, the Romanian Air Force has undergone an extensive process of reorganisation and modernisation, which made it possible for Romania to achieve capability standards in line with the country’s NATO membership and the defence requirements resulting from such membership, emphasising the importance of this goal in the current security context.
“As a former defence minister, I supported this process, and as prime minister I consider this goal just as important, given the context created by Russia’s unprovoked and illegitimate aggression against Ukraine. When taking over the governance of the country, we pledged to consolidate Romania’s defence and deterrence posture by developing defence capacities matching the current security challenges, including air defence. The acquisition of multi-role aircraft recently approved by the government has reached the finish line, adding to Romania’s defensive capacity, ” he said.
Given that Holy Prophet Elijah the Tishbite, the spiritual protector of the flight audacious, all the military, reservists and civil aviation personnel, is celebrated on July 20, the prime minister wished them “clear skies on their missions,” and to the Romanians who celebrate their name day – ” peace, accomplishments and many years ahead.”
DefMin Dincu pays tribute to eight soldiers killed in Constanta air disaster
On July 20, Romanian Aviation and Air Force Day, Defence Minister Dincu sent a message in which he paid tribute to eight soldiers who died an air disaster that occurred in March 2022 in Constanta.
“I want to pay tribute first of all to the eight soldiers we lost on duty in March of this year, in the air catastrophe in Constanta County. Their sacrifice will never be forgotten. They joined in eternity the gallery of air heroes who fell for Romania in all times, who defended until their supreme sacrifice the blue gates of our country,” said Dincu in his message.
He added that the security state of play generated by the Russian Federation’s aggression in Ukraine and the implications of this war “require the continuation of the process of adapting NATO’s defence and deterrence posture.”
“Our allies are already here, and their contribution will gradually increase in the near future,” he said.
According to him, the Romanian Air Force, together with the other branches of the Romanian armed forces, “have directly contributed, with exemplary missions and tasks performed, to the permanent strengthening of the defence capacity of Romania, they have adapted their reaction time to increased operational pace and continued joint missions and training with NATO partners.”
He mentioned air policing missions carried out by its own F-16 aircraft and those as part of the enhanced vigilance and air policing activities carried out together with the combat aircraft of partners from Germany, Italy, the UK, the USA.
The acquisitions programmes for the military aviation continue, said Dincu, mentioning that that the programme regarding multirole aircraft will be completed soon with two more squadrons through the acquisition, upgrading and commissioning of another 32 F-16 aircraft, which will pave the way for the final stage, namely acquiring 5th generation aircraft.
“Equally important to Romania’s security and the security of the NATO land is the continuation of the ‘Patriot Surface-to-Air Missile System,’ a system tested in combat and capable of engaging all types of current air threats that surface-to-air missile operators are already exploiting and are preparing for the reception of the next systems related to this project,” added Dincu.
“We are also discussing the upgrade of IAR-99 school aircraft and the continuation of acquisitions with modern research radars, indispensable in ensuring the early warning made by the permanent surveillance of the national airspace and an important part of the honourary mission of the Romanian Air Force defending the airspace of Romania, which is integrated with the airspace of NATO, as well as of other acquisitions of modern equipment, which are in planning and preparation,” Dincu added.
Compiled from Agerpres
File photo: www.mapn.ro