The representatives of the Ministry of National Defence (MApN) on Friday signed, at the headquarters of Romtehnica, an agreement for the acquisition of 32 F-16 aircraft from the Government of the Kingdom of Norway, worth over 380 million euros, informs a press release of the MApN.
The military institution agreed with the Norwegian representatives on the acquisition of 32 F-16 aircraft in the M6.5.2 configuration, spare engines and logistic support. The value of the agreement signed with the Government of the Kingdom of Norway is 388 million euros and will take place over a period of three years, with the first aircraft to be delivered towards the end of 2023.
The agreement is carried out with the support of the Government of the United States of America, as the Government of Romania sent a “Letter of request” to the Government of the USA expecting an answer before the end of the year.
The aircraft will be delivered to Romania in operational condition, with an available resource that will allow their operation by the Romanian Air Force for a period of at least 10 years, respectively during the transition period to the 5th generation airplanes.
The acquisition of the 32 aircraft from the Government of the Kingdom of Norway represents, in fact, a transfer of capability between two NATO member states, which will increase Romania’s defence capacity and ensure the national contribution to the collective defence within the North Atlantic Alliance.
MApN obtained, in December 2021, the approval of the Romanian Parliament for the initiation of acquisition procedures.
Currently, the Romanian Air Force has 17 F-16 aircraft in the M5.2R configuration, which will be upgraded to the M6.6 configuration, purchased based on the provisions of the Concept for the gradual realization of the air defence capability within the “Multirole Aircraft of the Air Force.”
The missions specific to the Permanent Combat Service – Air Police (SLP-PA) are executed with F-16 and MiG-21 LanceR aircraft, but their use is a short-term solution (one year).
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, combined with the development of the regional security environment, determined the need to identify a solution that would allow the defence of the airspace of Romania with F-16 aircraft and the execution of SLP-PA with F-16 aircraft, according to the commitments made to NATO.