On Wednesday, Dec. 14, the Romanian government approved a sizeable military equipment purchase within Phase I of the country’s “Light Tactical Armored Vehicles – ATBTU” armament program.
“The approved specific procedure is aimed at awarding a multi-year contract for the supply of 1,059 ATBTUs in nine configurations — one basic variant and eight derivative types, necessary for the armament of the structures of the Ministry of National Defense,” the Ministry of Defense (MApN) wrote in a press release on Wednesday.
The estimated cost of purchasing the 1,059 ATBTU-type vehicles is about 4.58 billion lei (€931 million) excluding VAT, which includes the equipment that will be made available as “customer material” worth about 228 million lei excluding VAT.
“The funds will be provided for the duration of the multi-year contract, within the limits of the commitment appropriations and the budget appropriations approved for this purpose by the annual budget laws for the Ministry of National Defense,” the MApN said.
Tthe Ministry of Defense stated that “it is fundamental for the development of Romania’s defense capability to introduce in the armament the Light Tactical Armored Vehicles, with high performance, for which the manufacturing of some components is carried out on Romanian territory.”
Shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Romania has — in several steps — announced purchases amounting to a massive upgrade of its military capabilities. In June, it announced the purchase of 32 U.S.-made F-16 surplus fighter jets from Norway at a price of €388 million and in July the purchase of two French-made Scorpène-class diesel-electric attack submarines. While that second announcement did not include the purchase price, Scorpène-class submarines cost around €500 million a piece when new.
Romania currently has only one submarine, the Soviet-made Kilo-class Delfinul, which was purchased in 1985 for the purpose of training surface ships of the Romanian Navy in anti-submarine warfare, a program that has been mothballed since 1995 for lack of operational funding.