Romanian parliament approves record $6.5 billion purchase of US F-35 combat aircraft

U.S. Air Force F-35 fighter jet performs aerobatic maneuvers on the second day of the Aero India 2023 at Yelahanka air base in Bengaluru, India, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)
By Dénes Albert
3 Min Read

The Romanian parliament has approved a request by the Ministry of Defense to purchase 32 F-35 multirole combat aircraft from the United States, its largest single military acquisition in the country’s history.

The defense committees of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies and the Senate voted unanimously in favor of a request by the defense minister to pursue the “F-35 5th Generation Multirole Aircraft” procurement program.

According to a document published by the parliamentary committees, these are “contracts awarded by the Government of Romania to the Government of the United States of America for Letter of Offer and Acceptance contracts, specific to the Foreign Military Sales Program, for 32 F-35 aircraft, engines, initial logistics support, training services, FMT flight simulators, air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions, respectively, for an estimated value of $6.5 million, excluding VAT.”

The document also specified that the procurement program will take place “in order to obtain for the Romanian Air Force robust and resilient, credible, interoperable, flexible, and efficient defense capabilities, intended both to deter possible aggression and to articulate an adequate response to current and future challenges of the security environment, as well as the fulfillment of the commitments assumed as a result of being a NATO and EU member state.”

Romania’s military strategy will see it bolster its defenses in two phases. First, the initial purchase of two squadrons (32 aircraft) of the F-35 jets, followed by another squadron to be completed by the end of 2024.

Ever since its introduction into service by the United States armed forces, the F-35 has become a very successful export for both the U.S. government and its manufacturer, Lockheed Martin.

It is now either in service or on order in 19 countries around the world, including Czechia, Poland, Slovakia, and now Romania in Central Europe.

NATO member Turkey had also signed up for the purchase of 100 F-35s but was expelled from the procurement program back in 2019 after refusing U.S. demands not to acquire Russian S-400 missile systems in 2020 over fears that it may compromise the security of the aircraft.

Share This Article