According to media reports in recent weeks, Romanian Armed Forces decided to buy five F-16 fighter jets from Portugal.
Romania will buy five more F-16 aircraft from Portugal and the acquisition procedure could be completed this year, according to Romanian defense minister Gabriel Les.
Romania Insider has reported on 19 April that Romania bought 12 F-16 multirole aircraft from Portugal in 2013 and will buy five more to have a complete squadron of 17 fighters, the minister also said, local Radio Europa Libera Romania reported. The five F-16s will be second-hand, modernized in Portugal.
Commenting on the news that the U.S. is considering selling F-35 fighters to five new nations, including Romania, Gabriel Les said that, at the moment, this would be “a bit too much” for Romania.
Minister Les also said that “in two-three weeks” he would make an announcement to unblock the procedure for the acquisition of four corvettes for the Navy. The public procurement procedure for the EUR 1.6 billion contract for the purchase of four new corvettes was suspended in January this year due to alleged irregularities.
Once this transfer is completed, Romania will seek to add 36 more F-16s via transfer from U.S. or other friendly nation stocks.
In the longer term, Romania hopes to procure a fifth-generation fighter, which would then serve as a replacement for the F-16s.