Defense minister Mircea Dusa, the Romanian Defense Minister, has officially signed a contract with Portugal for used F-16A/B fighter aircraft. The total contract is worth 600 million Euro of which the first installment of 100 million has been paid.
The aircraft itself are worth 186 million Euro while the rest will be spent on support infrastructure, training, spares, weapons and so on. Nine Romanian pilots and 69 maintenance technicians have begun their training.
The nine F-16A single-seat and three F-16B dual-seat aircraft will be upgraded and modernized before delivery will begin in 2015. A full squadron is expected to be ready to enter service by 2017 where they will replace the Russian MiG-21 Fishbed.
Nine of these will come from Portugal and the other three will be acquired from the United States through Portugal. Bulgaria had expressed their intent to purchase these nine aircraft from Portugal, but nothing was formally signed.
Romania may purchase additional F-16 aircraft, possibly from Portugal. They had earlier planned to purchase 24 refurbished F-16C/D Block 25 from the United States although this did not go through due to financial difficulties.