Romania to buy F-35 fighters, President says

Romania buy F35
Lockheed Martin F-35 combat aircraft,

Romania plans to purchase next-generation Lockheed Martin F-35 fighters as part of its Air Force modernization program, according to Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.

"The new types of aircraft fitted to the Army, especially the F-16 aircraft, allow for a highly efficient execution of all specific missions. The process of modernizing the Air Force will not stop here, as we intend to purchase state-of-the-art F-35 aircraft," Iohannis said Wednesday after a visit to the air base in Campia Turzii, central Romania.

Iohannis added that Romania is determined to further develop and modernize its military capabilities, in accordance with the nation's commitments within NATO.

The backbone of the Romanian Air Force currently consists of 17 F-16 fighters that Bucharest procured second-hand from Portugal to replace the older MiG-21 Lancers (which will be phased out by 2024). Defense Minister Vasile Dincu asked parliament late last year to give the green light to the purchase of 32 used F-16s from Norway for an estimated price of 454 million euros (514 million dollars).

Romania, which joined NATO in 2004, plans to spend a total of € 9.8 billion until 2026 to enhance its defense capabilities.

Written by Matteo Sanzani

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