The Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (NDMA) has announced extending and expanding its contract with Kongsberg Aviation Maintenance Services, securing the overhaul and preparation of 32 F-16 combat aircraft for sale to Romania. 

The agreement encompasses technical assistance and support for training Romanian technical personnel, reinforcing Norway’s commitment to delivering aircraft to its allies.

Valued at over NKr700m ($64.8m) the contract underscores the importance of maintaining and upgrading the F-16 fleet, ensuring its optimal performance and operational lifespan. 

The Norwegian F-16s are renowned for their maintenance standards, and this collaboration with Kongsberg Aviation Maintenance Services further guarantees the aircraft’s reliability for Romania in the years ahead.

According to GlobalData’s “Romania Defense Market 2023-2028” report, Romania’s top defence priority is building up an inventory of F-16 fighter aircraft. Recently, Romania said farewell to the historic MiG-21 LanceR jet fighter of 60 years and welcomed the F-16 as their leading combat aircraft, marking a new chapter in the country’s aviation history.

Gro Jære, Director General of the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency, expressed confidence in the capabilities of Kongsberg Aviation Maintenance Services, stating, “This agreement is important to be able to carry out the sale of the F-16 combat aircraft to Romania. 

The Norwegian F-16s are among the best maintained in the world, and central to this work has been the ongoing maintenance and upgrades that Kongsberg Aviation Maintenance Services deliver. I’m therefore confident that our aircraft will serve Romania well for years to come.”

Kongsberg Aviation Maintenance Services had 40 years of experience maintaining, repairing, and upgrading Norway’s F-16 fleet before the company welcomed this extended contract.

Norway explored options for training Ukrainian pilots to fly the F-16 last month, following the announcement that F-16s will be potentially delivered to Ukraine following the counter-offensive to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine this summer. 

Atle Wøllo, President of Kongsberg Aviation Maintenance Services, emphasizes the significance of the contract in terms of national defence capabilities and future projects. He states, “This agreement confirms our position as a partner and supplier of maintenance services to the Norwegian defence sector and our allies. 

This agreement secures and further develops important national expertise in fighter aircraft maintenance in Norway, which will be valuable for supporting and maintaining F-35 aircraft in the future.”

The F-16 combat aircraft will undergo a comprehensive overhaul and restoration process, ensuring their return to optimal operating status. Moreover, the contract’s technical assistance and training provisions will empower the Romanian Air Force to handle the aircraft effectively and independently.

The sale of upgraded F-16 combat aircraft to Romania strengthens Romania’s defence capabilities and showcases Norway’s military technology on a global scale.