Wednesday, December 6, 2023

32 of 48 Romanian Lockheed-Martin F-35As will be ordered in 2024, according to the Ministry of Defense

Romania has announced that it intends to formalize a first order for 32 Lockheed-Martin F-35A stealth fighters, from 2024 to arm, from 2030, the first two of the three fighter squadrons intended to implement the American aircraft .

The intention of the Romanian authorities to acquire the American Lockheed-Martin F-35A fighter to modernize its air forces is in no way a surprise. Indeed, as early as 2019, certain echoes suggested that Bucharest would join the F-35 club as soon as its finances allowed it.

With the outbreak of war in Ukraine, with which Romania shares a 530 km border, tensions in Moldova under Russian threat, and those in the Black Sea, Bucharest, like many of its Eastern European neighbors, significantly accelerated and expanded its defense ambitions and timetables.

This is why a few months ago, Bucharest announced its intention to extend its defense effort, already brought from 1.2% to 2% of its GDP from 2012 to 2022, beyond 2.5%. in the years to come. At the same time, an envelope of €10 billion to modernize its land forces was released, and the acquisition of two attack submarines validated, the Scorpène being widely anticipated for this contract.

MIG21 Romania.jpg
After several fatal accidents, the Romanian Mig-21 Lancers were banned from flying in April 2022. Two months later, Bucharest acquired 32 used Norwegian F-16s for $385 million, as a waiting solution until 'on the arrival of the first F-35A

The modernization of the Romanian air forces will be carried out in two stages. In June 2022, Bucharest and Oslo agreed on the acquisition of 32 used Norwegian F-16s by the Romanian air forces, and join the 17 Portuguese F-16 Block 15 purchased used in 2013 and 2019, to replace its MIG-21s.

Secondly, the Romanian Air Force intends to acquire three squadrons armed with the 5th generation F-35A fighter from Lockheed-Martin. The first order, announced by the Ministry of Defense, is therefore expected in 2024.

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Fabrice Wolf
Fabrice Wolf
A former French naval aeronautics pilot, Fabrice is the editor and main author of the site. His areas of expertise are military aeronautics, defense economics, air and submarine warfare, and Akita inu.

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