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Romania approves purchase of 24 F-16s

March 24, 2010 (by Asif Shamim) - On Tuesday the Romanian Supreme Defence Council approved the acquisition of 24 second-hand F-16 Fighting Falcons to modernize its air force

Second hand F-16C block 25s similar to this aircraft to be sold to Romania

The cost of purchase is estimated to be between $900 million to $1.2 Billion dollars according to sources who took part in the discussions held between the Romanian National Defence Ministry and the US.

Romania's Supreme Defence Council (CSAT) approved the Defence Ministry's proposal of purchasing 24 used F-16C/D block 25 variants of the aircraft to replace existing MIG-21 Lancers. The document is still to be discussed by the Parliament. Romanian Defence minister Gabriel Oprea declared yesterday that the decision in favour of the F-16 aircrafts was made easy by the fact that Romania hasn't got money to spend.

"Since Romania does not have the financial resources to purchase new multirole aircraft, the CSAT has approved the Defence Ministry's proposal to buy 24 used F16 fighters, a request which will be sent to the Parliament for debates and a decision," said a Presidential Administration press release.

The F-16s will be offered at no charge, but Romania must stump up the cash to pay the cost to train pilots, maintenance crews, upgrade local infrastructure at airfields and any updates necessary to the airframes. The aircrew training costs are estimated to be in the region of $400 million dollars and will take place in the US over a 12 month period..

Romania a member of NATO since 2004 selected the F-16 is favour of the Boeing F-18, the Dassault Rafale, the SAAB Gripen and the Eurofighter from EADS.