Norway Says Sale of F-16 Jets to Romania Complete

Norway said Thursday it had completed the sale of 32 F-16 fighter jets to fellow NATO member Romania after getting the green light from US authorities.

Romania signed a contract with Norway in November to buy the used F-16s for 388 million euros (around $418 million).

“The sale will strengthen and modernise the defence of an allied nation that has Ukraine as a neighbour,” said Norwegian Defense Minister Bjorn Arild Gram.

The Norwegian aircraft will be serviced before they are delivered to Bucharest.

In May, Norway’s Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store ruled out the idea of going back on the contract and delivering the aircraft to Ukraine to help it repel Russia’s invasion.

With the 32 aircraft and 17 bought from Portugal, Romania is modernizing its air force, replacing obsolete Soviet MiG-21 fighters.

Norway is upgrading its own air force, and Oslo plans to buy 52 more modern Lockheed Martin F-35s.

Norway finished taking the last of its F-16 fighters out of active service in 2022.

Of the 57 aircraft it considered suitable for sale, up to 12 have been sold to the private US group Draken International but have not yet been delivered.

In theory, the Scandinavian country still has some jets that could be delivered to Ukraine if it decides to join the coalition of Western countries that have announced their willingness to provide the war-torn country with F-16s.

The Norwegian government has said it is considering ways to help train Ukrainian personnel to use the F-16s, but has not yet decided whether to supply Kyiv with the aircraft.

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