WARSAW, Poland — Romanian Defence Minister Adrian Tutuianu has unveiled plans by Bucharest to acquire High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, and 36 F-16 fighter jets by 2022.
“These acquisitions are in the interest of safeguarding the security needs of Romania, but also to respect the government’s commitments in relation to NATO’s structures,” Tutuianu said, as reported by local news site News.ro.
The announcement comes in the wake of Romania’s Supreme Council of National Defence approving a plan to spend €9.8 billion (U.S. $11.6 billion) on military procurements in the years 2017 to 2026. The state body, chaired by President Klaus Iohannis, identified a number of programs in its procurement plan for the Romanian military. These include procurements of four- and eight-wheel drive armored vehicles, C4I systems, missile launchers, and other weapons and equipment.
Romania is also aiming to purchase Patriot missiles from U.S. company Raytheon to boost its air defense capabilities, and the government plans to pay the first installment for the systems this November, according to the defense minister. The deal is estimated to be worth about $3.9 billion.
Tutuianu said that, owing to the planned procurement, Romania will become the sixth ally to acquire Patriot missiles for its armed forces, preceded by the U.S., Germany, Spain, Greece and the Netherlands.
The HIMARS is offered by U.S. company Lockheed Martin. Other countries in the region that consider developing their high-mobility artillery capacities on the basis of the system include Poland. Warsaw is also planning to acquire Patriot missiles.