US ambassador in Bucharest Hans Klemm hopes an agreement will be signed by the end of the year on the purchase of American Patriot missiles by the Romanian state.
The Romanian Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu have recently had talks with a delegation of the American Romanian Business Council on the subject of future American investment in Romania and ways to consolidate cooperation in the defence industry. Bucharest is currently considering the possibility to purchase Patriot missiles.
The US ambassador Hans Klemm said he hoped the parties would reach an agreement on this matter by the end of the year. He underlined that the United States is grateful to Romania for the latter’s decision to increase defence spending to 2% of the GDP in 2017, in keeping with its NATO commitments. This also provides American companies with the opportunity to collaborate with Romanian companies in the field of defence in order to develop new, modern equipment that would benefit Romania, NATO and the United States and would provide better defence, said ambassador Klemm.
Last month, the chief of the Romanian General Staff, general Nicolae Ciuca, said Romania was planning to purchase Patriot missiles, a type of equipment that fits with the country’s integrated multi-level air defence system. The Patriot is a surface-to-air advanced missile that can be used in the event of an attack by aircraft, ballistic missiles and cruise missiles. The defence minister Gabriel Les told the public television station on Sunday that the Patriot missile system is one of the possible solutions under consideration for air defence because it is a very good system that has been tested in action and has a reasonable price.
According to the minister, however, no clear decision has been taken yet. Earlier, the minister said a concept on the equipping of the Romanian Army was to be finalised soon. This year, Romania increased its defence spending to 2% of the GDP for the first time. Half of the money will go to the army to be used on equipment. Minister Les told Radio Romania that the army would be equipped with attack helicopters and troop-carrying helicopters, as well as new armoured carriers, given that the ones used at the moment are around 30 years old.
(Translated by Cristina Mateescu)