Through a letter signed by the chiefs of the two Chambers of the Romanian Parliament, sent on Monday, 20 December, the Romanian Parliament approved the acquisition of 32 Norwegian F-16 fighter jets. The estimated total Romanian budget is EUR 454 million and the Norwegian share of this will be determined through further negotiations. The acquisition will involve large revenues for Norway and Norwegian industry.
The F-16 aircraft have served the Armed Forces and the nation for over 40 years until they are now replaced by the F-35. In 2019, the Ministry of Defence commissioned the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency to dispose of the F-16 system within current regulations in the most favorable way for the state. I am very pleased that it is now Romania, a NATO ally, who wants to buy 32 Norwegian F-16s from us so that the aircraft can be useful for several years to come, says Minister of Defence Odd-Roger Enoksen.
The F-16 has been a formidable capacity for the Air Force and the defence of Norway. The F-16 has claimed sovereignty in Norwegian airspace, as well as participated in a number of national and international operations and exercises until they are now taken out of service at the turn of the year.
The bilateral relations between Norway and Romania are good. A sale to Romania will give the Romanian armed forces a significant and rapid boost in their combat air power.
It was in 2019 that the Ministry of Defence commissioned The Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency to dispose of the F-16 system within current regulations in the most favorable way for the state.
– The process for selling this type of military equipment to other nations is extensive, and there have also been several players in the market. I am therefore very pleased that Romania has now decided to buy our F-16 aircraft. Our fighter jets are among the best maintained in the world and they have been regularly upgraded. I am sure that our aircraft will serve Romania well for a number of years to come, says director at The Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency, Mette Sørfonden.
Now that Romania has decided to buy Norwegian F-16s, The Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency will start detailing and finalizing the contract between the nations. Before the planes are handed over to Romania, they are scheduled to undergo maintenance.
In the sales process, it has been important to us that the contract will also provide income to Norwegian industry. Kongsberg Aviation Maintenance Services has been chosen as a strategic partner and will provide both support, maintenance and training of Romanian technical personnel, says director of The Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency, Mette Sørfonden.
A resale of the F-16 requires third-party approval from the US authorities and for export, as in this case, an export license from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is also required. There is thus strict control over who can receive the Norwegian F-16 aircraft.
According to the plan, the first aircraft will be delivered in 2023 and the last aircraft will be delivered during 2024. For the remaining aircraft that cannot be sold, an overall assessment will be made regarding the possibilities for exhibition at a museum or other purposes. Here, too, approval from the American and Norwegian authorities will be required.
- In September 2019, the Ministry of Defence commissioned The Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency to lead the disposal of the F-16 system within current regulations in the most favorable way for the state.
- The sale of the F-16, or equipment related to the F-16, must be approved by both the US and Norwegian authorities.
- The Armed Forces has a total of 57 F-16 aircraft that can potentially be sold, but some of these will be expensive to put up for sale.
This article was published by the Norwegian Ministry of Defence on December 12, 2021.
The F-16.net website provides an overview on Romania and its F-16 force.
Featured Photo: Romanian F-16 Fighting Falcons fly in formation with Massachusetts Air National Guard 131st Expeditionary Fighter Squadron F-15C Eagles above Bucharest, Romania, Aug. 20, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dawn M. Weber)