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Romania's govt approves buy of 32 F-16 jets from Norway for 454 mln euro

Romania's govt approves buy of 32 F-16 jets from Norway for 454 mln euro Author: Lockheed Martin; License: All rights reserved.

BUCHAREST (Romania), June 16 (SeeNews) - Romania's government approved the acquisition of 32 F-16 fighter aircraft from Norway for 454 million euro ($473 million), VAT excluded, the defence ministry said on Thursday.

The acquisition will allow Romania to withdraw Soviet-era MiG-21 jets from use, the defence ministry said in a press release.

The ministry expects that Romania will use the aircraft for at least ten years.

Romania's parliament gave the green light to the acquisition at the end of 2021.

Romania currently has a fleet of 17 F-16 combat aircraft, all bought from Portugal. The aircraft have the M5.2R configuration, and will be upgraded to a M6.X configuration, the ministry added.

Since August 2020, aircraft construction and repair company Aerostar [BSE:ARS] is the provider of maintenance and upgrade services for the country's F-16 fighter jets in Romania.

In May, the defence ministry said that it has received the necessary approvals to fly its Soviet-era MiG-21 jets for another year, after grounding them for two months following a crash.

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.

Aerostar Bacau shares were trading 6.9% higher at 7.75 lei ($1.63/ 1.57 euro) at 1402CET on the Bucharest Stock Exchange on Thursday.

($=0.96 euro)


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