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Romania took over officially the first six F-16 aircraft from the Portuguese base in Monte Real


Romania received answers from the European allied states possessing F-16 aircraft, and yet this isn't enough to start negotiations regarding the purchase of a new squadron of this type of aircraft, on Wednesday night said the National Defence Minister Mihnea Motoc.
Moreover, the minister assured that there is money in the budget for the F-16 flight hours. He mentioned that there is a minimal number of flight hours which the pilots of this type of aircraft must complete, according to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) standards.

Defence minister Mihnea Motoc participated on Thursday in the takeover ceremony of the first six F 16 airplanes bought by Romania from Portugal. The event was also attended by the Portuguese premier Antonio Luis Santos Da Costa and the defence minister of that state, Jose Alberto de Azeredo Lopes.

In 2013, Romania decided to buy from Portugal 12 F-16 second hand planes. Initially there was an intention to buy 24 airplanes but the final decision was for 12, for financial reasons. Besides the F-16 airplanes, there were offers presented by companies manufacturing JAS-39 Gripen and Eurofighter Typhoon airplanes for new equipment. The offer of Rafale airplanes produced by the French group Dassault was also taken into account.

The price of the 12 F-16 airplanes was 628 million euros and will be stationed at Fetesti and Campia Turzii air bases, specially modernized for this kind of aircraft.

According to specialists, Romania needs 48 multi role airplanes. In 2015 Romanian authorities announced the intention to purchase other F-16 airplanes.

Minister Motoc declared in February, that Romania intended to buy 12 more F-16 planes.

At present, the Romanian air space is defended by Mig-21 Lancer R supersonic planes modernized in collaboration with an Israeli company since 1995.

The Romanian air forces also have IAR-99 Eagle and Iak-51 subsonic training planes, both of Romanian make, C-27J Spartan transport planes, made in Italy and C-130 Hercules made in the USA.

The Romanian army has IAR-330 Puma helicopters and the modernized version IAR-330 Puma SOCAT, and IAR-316 Alouette. All these models are made in Romania with French licence.

At the same time, the air forces have AN-30 planes of Soviet make, used for air photographs and cartography.