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The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified the US Congress on 14 March 2023 of a potential Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to Romania of an additional 95 Heavy Guns Carrier (HGC) variants of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), plus related equipment, for an estimated cost of USD 104 M (EUR 98.25 M).

This is on top of a previous Romanian FMS request for 34 HGC JLTVs valued at USD 43.73 M for a total of 129 such vehicles, which are designed to carry crew-served and remote weapon systems to provide direct fire support for infantry manoeuvres, convoy escort and security missions.

The proposed sale adds to a number of systems that Romania is procuring, or intends to order, from the United States.

In a 3 March 2023 Romanian military podcast interview with Lieutenant General Teodor Incicaș, Head of the Romanian Ministry of National Defence’s General Directorate for Armaments, the general noted that Romania was seeking to procure a battalion of US M1 Abrams main battle tanks, which would equate to around 54 tanks.

Romania intends to acquire a total of 129 Heavy Guns Carrier variants of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle. (Photo: Oshkosh Defense)

Meanwhile, Romania has so far received two of seven Patriot air defence systems plus two of three M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) battalions ordered from the United States. A third HIMARS battalion will be received in 2023 for a total of 54 HIMARS launchers.

A “running programme”, according to Gen Incicaș, is the acquisition of a mobile coastal anti-ship missile system (SIML) to be sourced from Raytheon Technologies. 

In terms of air procurement, the Romanian Air Force (RoAF) is also being re-equipped with US platforms. The RoAF currently operates 17 Lockheed Martin F-16AM/BM fighters sourced second hand from Portugal, which will be supplemented by 32 ex-Norwegian F-16 Block 20 fighters under a contract signed with Oslo in 2022. Looking further ahead, Romania has always aspired to operate the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and plans to procure an initial squadron of F-35s after 2030.

Peter Felstead