Mihnea Motoc, Romanian Minister of Defence, announced that the Ministry is preparing another order, within which 12 F-16 jet fighters are going to be acquired. The related agreement is planned to be signed in 2017. It is assumed that second-hand airframes will be purchased, from one of the NATO allies.
Motoc said that six countries were asked for potential option of selling the aircraft – the United States and five European NATO member states. The initial information regarding the Romanian procurement emerged last year. In January 2015, a memorandum of understanding has been signed increasing the level of defence expenditure up to 2% of GDP, which may make it possible to expand the scope of the said procurement. The Romanian defence budget became larger, in the light of the growing international tensions, including the Ukrainian crisis.
Romania has already acquired a batch of F-16 jets, in line with the procedure outlined above, from Portugal. The fighters are going to be received by the Romanian airbases in September this year. The cost was defined as EUR 630 million. It included modernization of the procured airframes up to the F-16 Block 15 MLU standard and a training programme for the pilots.