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Romania will purchase 32 F-16s from Norway

December 10, 2021 (by Lieven Dewitte) - According to a request from the Ministry of National Defense addressed to the Parliament, Romania will purchase 32 F-16 fighter jets from Norway for 454 million euros, with 354 million euros for the aircraft and 100 million euros for logistical support and specific modernization equipment from the US government.

FAR F-16AM #1616 destined for Esc. 53 is touching down on the runway at Feteşti AB right after delivery on August 14th, 2020. [Photo by Adrian Sultănoiu]

“In order to continue the gradual supply of F-16 aircraft from the surplus of the Armed Forces of NATO member states, letters of inquiry (RFI) were sent in 2019 to the governments of NATO member states equipped with F-16 aircraft (Belgium, Denmark, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Greece) on the availability to transfer 16-32 F-16 aircraft ”, says in the Ministry of National Defense’s request to the Parliament.

“The only solution currently identified as a result of the analysis of the responses received to the requests for information is the purchase by the Government of Norway of a package consisting of: 32 F-16 aircraft in M6.5.2 configuration (superior to the configuration of the 17 aircraft equipped ), logistics support equipment and training services ”, according to the Ministry of National Defense.

Despite the fact that the Norwegian jets are in their fifth decade of service, they are nonetheless more capable than the Romanian F-16. Between 2016 and 2021, 17 Romanian F-16s were transferred from Portugal.

Before being transferred to Romania, the former Portuguese F-16s got mid-life modifications and now have the M.5.2R configuration, which has capabilities similar to Block 50/52 aircraft. The Norwegian aircraft are equipped with the M6.5.2 configuration, which allows them to fire smarter laser JDAM bombs and AMRAAM-120D missiles.

Aerostar Bacău will be in charge of the aircraft's modernization, engine capital repairs, and maintenance.

The total cost of the acquisition is projected to be around 454 million euros, including 354 million euros for the actual aircraft from Norway and about 100 million euros for logistical support and specific equipment needed for modernization aircraft from the US government.

Additional images:

FAR F-16BM #1611 is coming in for landing at Aviano AB on December 15th, 2016 en route for delivery to Romania. [Photo by Daniele Faccioli]

A Romanian Air Force F-16 makes contact with a USAF KC-135 Stratotanker for the first time on February 28th, 2017 during air refueling training over Bucharest. With the help of the USAF’s 100th ARW and one of their Stratotankers, the Romanian Air Force became certified to refuel from all US KC-135s, strengthening partnerships and regional stability. [USAF photo by SSgt. Kate Thornton]

Four F-16s in place. Four different units present. Thats what we call a joint operation. Especially since we know the Norwegians only have 3 operational units left! Also note the magnificent Afghan mountain background. [Photo by Joost de Raaf]