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New F-16 planes for the Romanian Army

Romania is strengthening its air defense capabilities at a level adapted to the security challenges in the region.

Photo: facebook.com/ Fortele Aeriene Române
Photo: facebook.com/ Fortele Aeriene Române

, 22.04.2024, 14:00

Three F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft purchased by Romania from the Kingdom of Norway landed, on Friday, at the 71st Air Base ‘General Emanoil Ionescu’ at Câmpia Turzii (center), to equip the 48th Fighter Squadron. The purchase of these F-16 aircraft and the related package of goods and services will ensure an increase in Romania’s security, by defending the national and NATO airspace in peacetime and in crisis situations, through the Permanent Combat Service – Air Policing under NATO command – writes a communique by the Romanian Defense Ministry. The F-16 aircraft that have just arrived at Câmpia Turzii are the second series of three such planes bought by Romania from Norway, the first being received at the end of November 2023, in the 86th Air Base ‘Lieutenant Aviator Gheorghe Mociorniţă’ from Borcea (south- east).

 

According to the Defense Ministry, through the gradual arrival, during this year and the next, of 32 multi-role F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft that will equip two more squadrons of the Air Force, Romania is strengthening its air defense at a level adapted to the security challenges in the region. These planes will have an important role in maintaining a credible allied defense and deterrence posture against any aggression on the Eastern Flank and, just as importantly, they will ensure the transition for the Romanian Air Force to the fifth-generation era of F-35 aircraft, the defense minister Angel Tîlvăr stated. The ministry he leads recalls that, according to the Concept of the gradual fulfillment of the air defense capability, within the program “Multirole aircraft of the Air Force”, the Romanian Government awarded the Government of Norway the contract for the purchase of 32 F-16 aircraft, with logistic support initially, and a package of complementary goods and services from the US Government.

 

The aircraft 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 aircraft, which makes the acquisition of the Norwegian fighter jets a transfer of capability between two allied NATO countries, the defense ministry explains. The three aircraft that have just arrived will ensure the fulfillment of the new existing requirements within NATO, and later they will be included in the modernization program in the same configuration (M6.X) as the F-16 aircraft from the first squadron that entered the equipment of the Romanian Air Force. This solution ensures the involvement of the Romanian defense industry in the maintenance and modernization of F-16 aircraft, through the company Aerostar Bacău (est). At present, the Romanian Air Force has 20 F-16 aircraft. (LS)

Photo: geralt / pixabay.com
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