BUCHAREST (Romania), June 29 (SeeNews) - The Romanian government's request for the purchase of 231 Man-portable air-defence systems (MANPADS) for 662.5 million euro ($697 million) has received the green light from three parliamentary committees, the parliament said.
The committees on defence, public order and national security unanimously decided to approve the defence ministry's request for the acquisition, according to a document posted on the website of the Chamber of Deputies on Tuesday.
The defence ministry said in the document that the current endowment of the Romanian Army requires urgent measures to ensure that it is able to cope with new conditions of the security environment and to allow for the complete fulfilment of its missions and obligations, both nationally and internationally.
MANPADS will be used by Romania's Land Forces, Navy, and Special Operations Command.
Initially, the defence ministry requested 138 MANPADS for the land and naval forces in 2020, an acquisition estimated at 307 million euro. However, given the new challenging security context, the ministry decided to resume the procedure and expand its request to include the Air Force and Special Operations Command, the document showed.
Earlier this month, Romania's government approved the acquisition of 32 F-16 fighter aircraft from Norway for 454 million euro, aiming to withdraw Soviet-era MiG-21 jets from service.
President Klaus Iohannis said in February that Romania plans to buy Lockheed Martin's F-35 aircraft as part of its Air Force modernisation programme.
In March, Iohannis announced that Romania needs to increase defence spending to 2.5% of gross domestic product from 2%, following the Russian invasion of neighbouring Ukraine.
Romania, which joined NATO in 2004, has said it plans to spend a total of 9.8 billion euro until 2026 to boost its defence capabilities.
($= 0.9509 euro)