A total of 17 airframes (14 A-models and 3 B-models) were acquired second-hand from Portugal in 2016 and 2020.
Peace Carpathian I
At the end of 2005 rumors were spread out that Romania was in negotiations with Israel to acquire a batch of second-hand F-16A/B's. With the introduction of the F-16I in the IDFAF these aircraft are coming available on the market. The aircraft would receive an extensive upgrade (even including the so-called ACE upgrade) and overhaul in Israel with cooperation of a Romanian aircraft factory. In 2006 it was also reported that Romania has asked for the possibility of acquiring a batch of second-hand Belgian F-16s. In May of 2008 the Pentagon notified Congress of the possible sale of 48 F-16s as part of a deal valued at 4.5 billion dollars. Two dozen F-16s would be new F-16C/D block 50/52 aircraft and the other two dozen would be refurbished surplus USAF F-16C/D block 25 aircraft. In March of 2010 the Romanian government decided only to opt for the second part of this deal, being the purchase of 24 second-hand USAF airframes. This decision was instigated by the difficult financial situation of Romania and the fact that a decision on the replacement of the aging Mig-21's has to be taken. And yet again this was postponed due to severe financial difficulties with none of the previous deals coming ti fruition.
Romania was looking for a replacement of their venerable Mig-21 Lancers for years. Financial difficulties always prevented this from happening. In 2015 the first contacts were laid between Portugal and Romania to acquire a batch of F-16s for the latter. Portugal was selling a number of their 45-airframe string fleet and a deal was signed in 2016 for a batch of 9 A-models and 3 B-models, all updated to the latest MLU standards. This batch first originated from the Peace Atlantis II order that Portugal itself placed with the United States in the 1990's. So this marks the first time F-16s are sold for a second time to fly for a third country in their careers.
FAR F-16AM #1606
is coming in for landing at Aviano AB on December 15th, 2016 en route for delivery to Romania. [Photo by Daniele Faccioli]
Peace Carpathian II
In 2019 a rumor came through that Romania was to acquire another batch of second-hand F-16's from Portugal. At first 4 A-models and 1 B-model was reported. Both governments negotiated the deal and in January of 2020 a deal was signed for a total of 5 airframes, albeit all of them being A-models to complement the existing fleet to a total of 17 airframes. Deliveries of these airframes started in August of 2020 with the last foreseen in early 2021.
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]
Peace Carpathian III
In November of 2021 it became aparant that Romania was interested in another batch of second-hand F-16s. Albeit their first resource - Portugal - wasn't able to provide those, another supplier arose. Norway was set to retire it's fleet of F-16s by the end of 2021 and therefore offered those for sale. Romania responded swiftly and secured a deal to acquire up to 32 of their former F-16s. The project is valued at € 454 million which includes the aircraft (€ 354 million), logistical equipment, training and support for up to 10 years of operation (€ 100 million). These F-16s have a more advanced configuration then the previous Portuguese batch with these aircraft being updated to the MLU 6.5.2 version, while the existing airframes are still on MLU 5.2 version. It is foreseen that those aircraft will eventually being upgraded to the same standard as well.
Delivery of these aircraft is foreseen to start in 2022 already. The final split between A and B models is not yet known as is that final destination (squadron and or base) these new jets will be stationned.
|Peace Carpathian I
|Peace Carpathian II
|Peace Carpathian III
Please refer to the F-16 Units
section for an overview of units.