Romania receives first three F-16 fighters from Norway

Romania receives first F16 Norway
Norwegian Defense Minister Bjørn Arild Gram (L) congratulates Romanian ambassador Cristian Bădescu in front of one of three F-16s that were handed over to Romania.

Three Romanian fighter pilots took off Tuesday from Rygge Air Base, Norway, flying freshly overhauled F-16 jets to their new home base in Romania.

"The sale of the F-16 will strengthen and modernize the defense of Romania, an allied nation along NATO's eastern flank and bordering Ukraine. With the delivery of the first aircraft to Romania we celebrate an important milestone," Defense Minister Bjørn Arild Gram (Sp) said.

The aircraft underwent an intense preparation period, during which Forsvarsmateriel together with Kongsberg Aviation Maintenance Services (KAMS) carried out modifications, maintenance and certification of the aircraft, in order to prepare them for use in the Romanian Air Force. The sale of the defense systems was also subject to approval by the Norwegian and American authorities.

Romania receives first F16 Norway

"The agreement with Romania includes two squadrons of fighter aircraft with the addition of spare parts, support equipment and technician training. The start of deliveries is the result of good work done by Forsvarsmateriel employees, with good support from KAMS and experienced F-16 personnel from the Air Force," Gram said.

The delivery of the aircraft will be completed in 2025, this will give Romania time to train pilots and technicians. Furthermore, Forsvarsmateriel will assist the Romanian defense with the transfer of experience related to the use of the F-16.

Romania has signed a contract with Norway in 2022 to buy 32 of the 57 F-16 aircraft decommissioned by the Norwegian Air Force following the introduction of the advanced F-35A.

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Images: Onar Digernes Aase/Forsvaret

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