The Romanian Ministry of National Defense aims to finalize a deal for the purchase of F-35 combat fighters in 2023 or the following year, according to Major General Teodor Incicaș, Head of the General Directorate for Armaments, local sources say.
The Ministry plans to receive the first squadron of F-35 aircraft after 2030, with the procurement program being complex and requiring significant investment in military infrastructure. The implementation of the plan to receive the first squadron of aircraft in the 2030s necessitates comprehensive steps, such as infrastructure analysis and investment.
The acquisition process for aircraft is also a complex process that requires coordination and delivery.
Currently, the Romanian Air Force’s main fighter is the F-16, with a squadron of 17 aircraft. In 2013, twelve F-16AM/ВМ were purchased from Portugal, and the remaining five were acquired from the United States Air Force. In 2022, Romania acquired an additional 32 Norwegian F-16 for €388 million, resulting in the country having three F-16 squadrons.
However, a potential F-35 order is subject to the completion of all legislative steps, including obtaining the conclusion of the Supreme Council of National Defense and Parliament’s decision.