Romania plans to purchase 32 additional F-16 fighters from Norway to modernize the country’s air force, Romanian news channel Digi24 reported on Sunday.
The Romanian Defense Ministry reportedly sent a letter to parliament requesting preliminary approval for the acquisition of more than 40-year-old F-16s from the Norwegian Royal Air Force.
Of the $514 million proposed for the additional combat jets, around $400 million will be used to purchase the planes. The rest will be allocated for logistical support and modernization in the US.
Aside from Norway, the Romanian defense ministry discussed purchasing used F-16s from various NATO members, including Denmark, Belgium, Portugal, Greece, and the Netherlands.
Romania currently has 17 F-16s bought from Portugal to replace its aging MIG 21 Lancers.
Used F-16s ‘Viable for Another 10 Years’
Romanian Minister of Defense Vasile Dîncu explained that purchasing the additional F-16s would allow the air force to conduct more monitoring and surveillance, particularly on the country’s east coast.
He also admitted that the military is “not very well equipped,” thus the need to invest in more aircraft and ships manufactured even decades ago.
Dîncu believes that the second-hand F-16s are functional, in good condition, and still “viable” for at least another 10 years.
“These F-16s are planes that have a flight resource, for example, around 2,500 hours for each aircraft. That means 10 years of functionality, plus there is a process of refurbishment, modernization,” the minister told Digi24. “It is absolutely necessary at this moment to have planes.”