Romanian Defense Minister Mihai Fifor has announced it intends to move forward with the procurement of an additional five F-16 fighter jets from Portugal, the resboiu.ro reported on 13 July.
“In the next period, we will also discuss the other 36 F-16s we want to buy. There are several possibilities taken into account, we’ve talked with several states that have F-16 planes and could make them available for us to buy, including the US, Israel or Greece,” said Fifor said during a press conference broadcast by Digi 24 TV station.
The aircraft will progressively replace part of Romania’s fleet of Russian built MiG-21 Lancer fighter aircraft.
Also, Defense Minister adding that State secretary Mircea Dusa made a trip to Portugal a few days ago and talked with Portuguese partners, who had previously sold Romania 12 of the planes. “We’ll talk about the amount we’re going to pay for these planes towards the end of the year, when we intend to promote a law in the Parliament to continue the F-16 programme. It is too early to talk about costs at the moment,” Fifor added.
In October 2017, Romania received the last three of 12 F-16 fighter jets from Portugal, as part of its programme to replace its ageing fleet of Soviet-era MiG fighter jets with aircraft that comply with NATO standards.
The 12 used aircraft have, on average, 4,000 hours of flight and have resources for at least another 4,000 hours, after being revamped and upgraded by American company Lockheed Martin.
Total, Romania paid USD732 million for the 12 F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft it has already acquired from Portugal, which went through a Mid-Life Upgrade process.
The combat-proven F-16 has proven itself as the world’s most capable 4th Generation multi-role fighter, serving as the workhorse of the fighter fleet for 28 customers around the world.