To fortify its defence infrastructure, Romania secured approval from the United States for the acquisition of AIM-9X Sidewinder Block II missiles, signalling a deepening alliance between the two nations.

The decision to equip the Romanian Air Force’s F-16 fleet with these air-to-air missiles comes amidst growing concerns over security threats in the region. With Block II technology at its disposal, Romania stands poised to enhance its operational readiness and deter potential aggressors.

US Chargé d’Affaires Michael Dickerson hailed the approval as a testament to the enduring partnership between Romania and the United States, emphasising that the sale transcends mere transactional significance. “This acquisition is not just a transaction; it is a testament to our shared commitment to security and peace,” remarked Dickerson. “These advanced missiles will ensure the safety of the Romanian sky, further solidifying our collective defence posture.”

The AIM-9X Sidewinder Block II missiles represent air-to-air missile technology currently deployed by the US military. With their track record of accuracy and reliability, these munitions will equip Romania with a deterrent capability, safeguarding its airspace against potential threats.

The US Air Force received its 10,000th AIM-9X Sidewinder short-range air-to-air missile (SRAAM) in 2021, marking a milestone in the joint US Navy and Air Force programme led by Raytheon. Despite this, the US Department of Defense (DoD) has announced plans to ramp up production of the AIM-9X Sidewinder, aiming for a total of 2,500 missiles to support various branches of the US military and foreign partners. 

The US Department of Defense has approved several sales of AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles to various countries, including Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, and Ukraine.