The Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (NDMA) and Romania have signed a contract for the sale of 32 F-16 fighter jets to the latter’s air force.

Announced by the Norwegian Government, the contract was finalised on 4 November and has an estimated value of $387m (€388m).

It also includes the delivery of associated equipment, spare parts and other aircraft modification, maintenance and technical training services.

Following the latest move, all 32 aircraft will now undergo necessary maintenance and modifications to transform to the M6.5.2 Romanian configuration.

Work under the contract, which includes training and logistics support, will be performed by Norwegian industry partners and supported by the US.

Delivery of the first tranche to Romania is expected to take place by late 2023 while the second lot’s delivery is scheduled for 2024.

Norwegian Defence Minister Bjørn Arild Gram said: “The agreement signed by NDMA will help strengthen the air power of one of our allies, at the same time as it will generate revenues for both the Norwegian state and industry.”

The signing of this deal comes after months of negotiations between the two nations. In 2020, Romania received a response from Norway to its initial request for information.

It was followed by Romania expressing interest in buying Norwegian F-16 fighter aircraft, as part of an initiative to boost the Romanian Air Force’s capabilities.

NDMA director general Gro Jære said: “In this particular case, to supplement the sale of aircraft and equipment, Kongsberg Aviation Maintenance Services (KAMS) has been chosen as a strategic partner, delivering support, maintenance and training of Romanian technical personnel.”

KAMS is expecting a renewal of its existing contract, however, an official announcement is yet to be released.

The company added: “Kongsberg will provide an update when such an agreement is in place with NDMA.”