Editor’s Note: Romania is another example of a NATO partner nation whose Air Force is in dire need of modernization. We’ve talked with our brothers and sisters who have spent time there on deployments, and the reports on the current state of affairs in the Romania have been dismal at best. Hopefully they’re able to wrangle up some newer jets to supplement those they’ve acquired from Portugal. We personally think their MiG drivers would really enjoy a Viper upgrade!

Romanian Defense Minister Mihnea Motoc has unveiled plans to purchase 12 F-16 fighter jets in 2017, with the acquisition expected to be launched by the end of this year, reports local daily Gandul.

Motoc said that the Romanian Cabinet is aiming to acquire used fighter jets from other NATO member states.

“We don’t  know from whom we will buy the aircraft. To date, we have sent out requests for information to all the allied countries which operate such planes, including the US and five European allies. We are awaiting their response,” Motoc said.

The Romanian Air Force has purchased 12 F-16AMs like this one from the Portuguese Air Force, but is looking to acquire more in 2017. (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)
The Air Force in Romania has purchased 12 F-16AMs like this one from Portugal, but is looking to acquire more in 2017. (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Under the plan, the F-16s are to replace Romania’s outdated Soviet-designed Mikoyan MiG-21 fighters. The estimated value of the procurement was not disclosed.

In 2013, the Romanian government signed a deal to acquire 12 used F-16 Block 15 fighters from Portugal under a deal worth about €628 million (US $691.5 million). The aircraft, which will be upgraded by Lockheed Martin, are to be delivered to Romania this September. The US manufacturer will design, integrate and support the installation of updated F-16 software.

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The Romanian fleet of F-16s will be deployed to the Fetesti military base which is located in Borcea, in close proximity of the country’s Black Sea shore.

The original article by Jaroslaw Adamowski over at Defense News can be viewed here.

(Featured photo courtesy of emfa.pt)