June 23, 2015 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Romania will buy 12 additional second-hand F-16 aircraft, said Defense Minister Mircea Dusa last Friday. In October 2013, Romania already bought 12 second-hand F-16AM/BM aircraft from Portugal to replace part of its fleet of Russian built MiG-21 Lancer fighter aircraft.
FAP F-16A block 15 #15135 is seen at Monte Real AB on May 23rd, 2010 when it was still in crates waiting to be updated to MLU standard. [Airliners.net
photo by João Toste]
Romania was rumored to have paid about 638 million EUR with 120 million EUR for the acquisition of the planes. The contract also included modifications and upgrades performed by Lockheed Martin; additional engines; logistics support; and the training of 9 Romanian pilots and 69 maintenance technicians.
Six jets from this earlier order have already been modernized and Romanian pilots have been training with them in Portugal
over the past few months.
Romania is currently working on modernizing the Fetesti 86 military base which will be host to Romania's first F-16s. Those are scheduled to arrive in 2016. The base must meet NATO
standards by then.
The total investment in the Fetesti airbase is estimated at 32 million EUR, of which NATO provided 21 million EUR. The Romanian Ministry of Defense will cover the remaining 11 million EUR, defense minister Mircea Dusa stated earlier this year.