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New F-16, Rocket Launcher Buy to Help Fill Romania's NATO Spending Commitments

Sputnik News

22:15 04.08.2017(updated 00:05 05.08.2017)

The government of Romania is taking concrete steps to reach its requirement to spend 2 percent of its GDP on defense, a measure that helps equally distribute the financial burden of maintaining the alliance across NATO members, by announcing plans to acquire three dozen F-16 aircraft and transportable artillery rockets.

The beneficiaries of the new spending would be Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control and BAE Systems, which make the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), and surprise, surprise, Lockheed Martin proper, which bought the right to manufacture F-16 Fighting Falcons from General Dynamics in 1993.

The purchase is "in the interest of safeguarding the security needs of Romania" and demonstrates Bucharest's "commitments in relation to NATO's structures," Defense Minister Adrian Tutuianu told local media outlets.

The Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which relays information regarding foreign military sales and financing to Congress, has yet to notify lawmakers of the potential deal for F-16s and HIMARS rocket systems. Bucharest hopes the deal will be completed by 2022.

The Romanian Air Force bought 12 F-16s in 2013 for $457 million, according to Pentagon data.

In July, the DSCA announced that Romania had requested seven Patriot missile fire units and 168 PAC-3 missiles, along with related training and support, in a deal worth up to $3.9 billion. Lockheed and Massachusetts-headquartered Raytheon Corporation would be the primary contractors for the deal, which has yet to reach a conclusion.


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