Romania to acquire F-16 fighter jets
The Romanian Ministry of Defence has reportedly unveiled plans to place a purchase order for F-16 Fighting Falcon multi-role fighter aircraft.
The decision will see the European country acquire 12 F-16 fighter jets in 2017.
Additionally, Romania has plans to acquire used fighter jets from other Nato member states, reported DefenseNews.
The move is reported to be part of a modernisation programme aimed at replacing the legacy Mikoyan MiG-21 fighters.
Romanian Defence Minister Mihnea Motoc was quoted by the publication as saying: "We don't know from whom we will buy the aircraft.
"To date, we have sent out requests for information to all the allied countries which operate such planes, including the US and five European allies.
"We are awaiting their response."
The new aircraft are expected to provide the Romanian armed forces with greater inter-operability with other Nato states.
Powered by a single General Electric F110-GE-129 or Pratt and Whitney F100-PW-229 engine, the aircraft's fuel supply is equipped with an inert gas anti-fire system with an in-flight refuelling probe installed in the top of the fuselage.
In 2010, Romania purchased 24 second-hand F-16 fighter jets to replace its aging Soviet-made MiG-21 Lancer aircraft, as part of efforts to modernise its air force.
The first F-16 aircraft under the contract is expected to be delivered in September this year.
Currently, the F-16 fighter jets are operational in countries including Bahrain, Greece, the UAE and South Korea.
Image: The F-16 aircraft. Photo: courtesy of SMSgt Thomas Meneguin.