Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The US State Department has approved a potential Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to Romania of equipment and services to modernise 32 F-16 Mid-Life Update Block 10/15 fighter aircraft to be procured through a third-party transfer from Norway, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced on 30 June 2023.

The proposed sale, estimated to have a value of USD 105 M (EUR 96.3 M), has been passed to the US Congress for final approval.

The equipment includes KY-58M and KIV-78 cryptographic devices; AN/PYQ-10C simple key loaders; Joint Mission Planning Systems; night vision goggles and spare image intensifier tubes; electronic warfare database support; classified and unclassified Computer Program Identification Number (CPIN) systems and CPIN Electronic Combat International Security Assistance Program (ECISAP) equipment and support; flight test services; integration and test support and equipment; aircraft support equipment; secure communications equipment, precision navigation, and cryptographic devices; spare parts; and various other items of engineering, technical, maintenance and logistics support.

The RoAF, which retired its remaining MiG-21 LanceR aircraft in May 2023, will ultimately field a fleet of almost 50 F-16s and subsequently intends to operate the F-35. (Photo: RoAF)

The Romanian Air Force (RoAF) currently operates 17 refurbished ex-Portuguese Lockheed Martin F-16AM/BMs (14 single-seat AMs and three twin-seat BMs) that were acquired between October 2016 and March 2021. However, in November 2022 Romania agreed a contract worth USD 385 M with the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency to acquire 32 F-16A/Bs retired by the Royal Norwegian Air Force earlier that year. The deliveries of these aircraft are scheduled to start this year and conclude next year.

The principal contractor for the FMS upgrade work on the ex-Norwegian aircraft is F-16 manufacturer Lockheed Martin out of its facility in Fort Worth, Texas.

Peter Felstead