WARSAW, Poland — The Romanian Ministry of National Defence has asked the country’s lawmakers to approve the purchase of 32 second-hand F-16 fighter jets from Norway under a contract estimated to be worth about €454 million ($513 million).
The Romanian ministry has discussed potential acquisitions of used F-16s from a number of allies, including Belgium, Denmark, Greece, The Netherlands, Norway and Portugal, but the only partner with which an agreement could be reached was the Norwegian government, according to the information obtained by local broadcaster Digi24.
The deal comprises a €354 million allocation to Norway, as well as a €100 million payment for logistics and equipment to the U.S.
The contract comes as the Royal Norwegian Air Force is phasing out the aircraft which have been replaced by new F-35 fighter jets, as announced by the Norwegian Ministry of Defence earlier this month.
“The F-16 has served the Norwegian Armed Forces and the nation very well for over 40 years until their replacement by the F-35. The Ministry of Defence has been clear on their wish that Norwegian F-16s should see continued use by others within the NATO alliance,” Norwegian Defence Minister Odd-Roger Enoksen was quoted in a statement.
Acquiring a further 32 fighter jets will allow Romania’s Air Force, which already operates 17 F-16s, to retire its remaining outdated Soviet-designed Mikoyan MiG-21 aircraft.
Jaroslaw Adamowski is the Poland correspondent for Defense News.