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Romania buys 32 F-16s from Norway for 354 million euros

Romania’s Defense Minister has notified the Senate of his firm intention to purchase 32 F-16 multi-role aircraft from the Norwegian Air Force for 354 million euros.

In addition to the purchase, a package worth about 100 million euros is also planned for logistical support from the United States.

The ex-RNoAF F-16s are at a version, M6.5.2, more modern than the F-16s currently in service in the Romanian Air Force, M5.2R, purchased between 2013 and 2015 from Portugal.

As a result, the Consiliul de Planificare a Apărării al Ministerului Apărării Naţionale (Planning Council of the Ministry of Defense) has initiated the procurement procedures for the 32 aircraft and related logistical support.

The price, just over 11 million euros per aircraft, is mainly due to the wear and tear on the aircraft from Norway, which is one of the F-16 operators in the world with the highest average flight hours/aircraft.

In the document, reported by several local sources, it is stated that “the purchase of 32 aircraft from Norway is the only solution identified” given also the “technical compatibility” with the aircraft already in use in Romania.

Through the Peace Carpathian program the F-16AM/BM purchased by Portugal have been upgraded to MLU 5.2R version which allowed them to achieve similar characteristics to the Block 50/52.

The aircraft purchased by Romania from Norway have additional features including the integration of new weapons (JASSM, JDAM, AIM-120D and AIM-9X), Link 16 upgrade, GPS, AN/AAQ-14 LANTIRN interface and AN/ALR-56M Radar Warning Receiver system as well as the possibility to interface the aircraft with advanced pods.

The first Norwegian Fighting Falcon made its flight christening on December 12, 1979 and the current fleet of F-16s will be replaced by 42 F-35As of which 24 have already been delivered; Norway is a Third Level Partner along with Australia, Canada and Denmark in the Joint Strike Fighter Program.

Cover image: General Dynamics F-16AM ‘672’ – Alan Wilson

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