Romania to buy additional F-16 fighters

Romania buy additional F-16 fighters
Romania to buy additional F-16 fighters.

On March 6, 2019 Romanian Defense Minister Gabriel Leş announced that the nation intends to introduce an additional 36 F-16 fighter planes to replace the obsolete MiG-21 Lancer fleet. He said they are looking at new build planes, but do not exclude second-hand jets that will be upgraded by Romanian industries. However, this news is not unexpected as we had already anticipated the plan of Romania in a previous article, last year.

The Forţele Aeriene Romane (Romanian Air Force, RoAF) already operates 12 F-16 Block 15 Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) fighter jets - nine F-16AM single-seaters and three F-16BM two-seaters - acquired second-hand from Portugal. The "new" aircraft entered the 53rd Fighter Squadron based at the 86th Borcea Air Force Base between 2016 and 2017 as part of a long-postponed modernization process of RoAF's combat aircraft. The nation's plan is to form 3 multi-role combat squadrons consisting of 16 F-16 aircraft each.


Romania has just introduced the F-16 in the national defense system with a ceremony that took place at the 86th Air Force Base on March 14, 2019. Currently the QRA unit is managed by the national defense command , but within a few months it will reach maximum operational capacity and be able to obtain certification to operate under the NATO command.

In addition, the Romanian F-16 pilots have recently been trained in air refueling operations thanks to the support of the USAF KC-135 tanker aircraft belonging to the 100ARW based at Mildenhall AB, UK.

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Images: Kiril Todorov


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