The contract was signed on 27 th January, during a visit of Romania Minister of Defense, Nicolae-Ionel Ciuca to Portugal. The agreement signed with his Portuguese counterpart, João Gomes Cravinho, has a value of €130 million and calls for delivery of additional 5 F-16 multirole fighter aircraft, which until lately were operated by the Air Force of Portugal.
Before delivery new Romanian F-16s will undergo maintenance and upgrade, which will be conducted by the Portuguese OGMA – Indústria Aeronáutica de Portugal company at the Monte Real Air Base. The first upgraded F-16 should be delivered by June, followed by an additional two in October. The final pair of ‘new’ combat aircraft will be handed over at the beginning of 2021.
Nearly a year ago the former Romanian minister of defense, Gabriel-Beniamin Leș, announced department’s intention to procure as many as 36 additional F-16 multirole fighter aircraft, which would complement a dozen of these jets, acquired in the past.
The first dozen of Romania F-16AM/BM aircraft, including 9 single-seat and 3 two-seat variants, were acquired in 2013. The aircraft were previously operated by the Portuguese and U.S. Air Force.