Twelve Portuguese Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons are on their way to Romania. The East European country signed the deal last Thursday, the Romanian Ministry of Defence confirmed.
Portugal actually bought three additional F-16s from the United States to meet the number, since it only had nine Vipers available for sale. The deal of 600 million euro will start with modernisation of the fighter jets, with first deliveries planned for 2015. The newly purchased US jets will get temporarily Força Aerea Portuguesa (FAP) serials.
By purchasing the much needed air assets second-hand from Portugal Romania has definitely killed an earlier plan to purchase up to 24 F-16s from the United States. There is much criticism to the deal within Romania, as many feel the country can’t afford to operate the new jets. Advocators point out that the F-16 has one of the lowest operating costs per flying hour compared to other modern aircraft.
Source: Romanian Ministry of Defence with additional reporting by AIRheads’ Marcel Burger