Portugal Announces F-16 Sale to Romania

The Portuguese government will sell 12 surplus F-16s to NATO partner Romania under an agreement valued at $253 million, reported UPI. This acquisition is designed to boost Romania’s interoperability with US and NATO air forces. The transaction involves nine single-seat F-16s already in the Portuguese inventory and three twin-seat F-16s that the United States is providing, according to the wire service’s Oct. 15 report. Portuguese industry will upgrade the F-16s prior to their delivery to the Romanian air force starting in 2016. The Romanians expect to start operating the fighters by 2017. Romanian pilots and maintainers will receive training in Portugal. Mark Johnson, spokesman for F-16 manufacturer Lockheed Martin, told the Daily Report on Wednesday that the company is not a party to this transaction. However, Lockheed Martin is “committed to supporting our customer’s needs” throughout the aircraft’s lifecycle, and will assist the Romanians in any way to ensure success, he said.