The Romanian government has received US approval for the potential foreign military sale of assault amphibious vehicles (AAVs).
Bucharest has requested 21 AAVs: 16 in the personnel carrier variant, three in the mobile command variant, and two in the armored recovery variant.
It also wants to acquire 16 .50 caliber machine guns, five 7.62-millimeter M240B machine guns, and an undisclosed number of MK-19 grenade launchers.
The proposed sale includes M36E T1 thermal sighting systems, spare parts, special mission kits, and engineering and technical support.
The sale has an estimated cost of $120.5 million.
The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said it had notified Congress of the decision, a required step in foreign military sales.
Bolstering Expeditionary Capability
According to the DSCA, the AAVs will ensure Romania has the necessary expeditionary capability to address modern threats.
The proposed sale would also improve US foreign policy by helping a NATO ally improve its defense capabilities.
“It is vital to the US national interest to assist Romania in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defense capability,” the announcement stated.
The European nation will reportedly have no difficulty absorbing the system into its armed forces.
The US approval notification did not specify which AAVs may be procured by Bucharest.
However, the US military has a wide variety of amphibious vehicles in its growing inventory.
The AAV7A1, produced by BAE Systems, features rugged durability and superior mobility for transporting soldiers and cargo from ship to shore.
It has a cruising speed of seven knots at sea (13 kilometers/8 miles per hour), thanks to its 400-horsepower turbocharged diesel V-8 engine.
The US Marine Corps also operates advanced amphibious combat vehicles, the primary means of tactical mobility for its infantry battalion at sea and ashore.
They provide organic, direct fire support to dismounted soldiers, making them suitable for expeditionary operations.