On Thursday, the government approved the draft law on the acquisition of the 32 Norwegian second-hand F-16s. The executive now estimates a cost of 454 million lei excluding VAT, but the final price can only be set after the end of talks with Norway and the United States. The amount also includes logistical support from the Americans.
Romania will buy 32 F-16 aircraft from the Scandinavian kingdom, for 454 million euros. Norway is putting them out of business because it has received new F-35s.
Norwegian F-16s are about 40 years old, so the purchase has been criticized by some voices in Bucharest.
However, the company that took care of their maintenance told Digi24, at the end of last year, that the planes that Romania will buy “are like us”.
“The planes will be delivered in operational condition. The aircraft will ensure the fulfillment of the new requirements existing at NATO level, later to be introduced in the modernization program at the same M6.X configuration with the F-16 planes from the first squadron already entered by the Romanian Air Force “, transmitted the Minister of Defense, Vasile Dîncu .
„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 from the aviation technical-engineering staff of the Romanian Air Force, necessary for the key functions in the planning and execution structures. and providing logistical planning at the Air Force Base and Air Force Staff for the two F-16 aircraft squadrons. This solution ensures, in a short period of time, the creation at the level of the squadrons of the minimum capacity of operation, maintenance, planning and management strictly necessary for the safe operation of the F-16 aircraft that will be purchased “, added the minister.
Dîncu reminds that the Romanian Air Force is already equipped with 17 F-16 aircraft.
„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 realization of air defense capability within the program“ Multirole aircraft of the Air Force ”.
The missions of the Permanent Combat Service – Air Police (SLP-PA) are performed with F-16 and MiG-21 LanceR aircraft, but the use of the latter is a short-term solution (one year).
The gradual decommissioning of MiG-21 LanceR aircraft and the need to permanently operate the Combat Service – Air Police with F-16 aircraft, in conjunction with the evolution of the regional security environment, determined the need to identify a solution to protect the airspace of Romania with F-16 planes and the execution of SLP-PA with F-16 planes, according to the commitments assumed towards NATO “, Vasile Dîncu explained, in a post on his Facebook page.
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