Military Aviation

Norway sells 32 of its F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jets to NATO partner Romania

The Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency has signed a contract with Romania for the sale of 32 Norwegian F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft.

The Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (NDMA) has signed a contract with Romania for the sale of 32 Norwegian F-16 aircraft.

Norway’s government said that following the RFI answer received in 2020, Romania has since 2021 expressed interest in acquiring the former Norwegian Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft as part of an effort to strengthen the capabilities of the Romanian Air Force. The final agreement was signed on Nov. 4, 2022 following months of negotiations and includes 32 F-16 fighter jets along with spare parts and support equipment, as well as maintenance and technical training services.

“The agreement signed by the NDMA will help strengthen the air power of one of our allies, at the same time as it will generate revenues for both Norwegian industry and the Norwegian state,” said Norwegian Minister of Defence, Bjørn Arild Gram.

“I am very pleased that we have been able to finalize this agreement, which is Norway’s largest ever sale of government owned military equipment. Norwegian F-16s have been among the best maintained of their kind, with high technical standards throughout. I congratulate the negotiation teams of both countries for their efforts. Through this agreement, our F-16s will continue to serve one of our NATO-allies for several years to come,” said Ms. Gro Jære, Director General of the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency.

Under the contract all aircraft will undergo necessary maintenance and aircraft modification to M6.5.2 Romanian configuration with US support prior to delivery, currently scheduled for 2023-24 (The first delivery to Romania is currently planned for late 2023, with the second in 2024). This work will be conducted by Norwegian industry, which also will provide training and other logistical services that will support the long-term availability of the aircraft.

“When selling the F-16 fleet we have worked to also secure opportunities for Norwegian industry. In this particular case, to supplement our sale of aircraft and equipment, Kongsberg Aviation Maintenance Services has been chosen as a strategic partner, delivering support, maintenance and training of Romanian technical personnel,” said Ms. Jære.

As already reported, on Dec. 3, 2021 the NDMA has reached an agreement with US adversary air services provider Draken International for the sale of up to 12 RNoAF F-16 fighters to the company. The F-16s will be used as part of Draken’s training services in the US.

“The F-16 has served the Norwegian armed forces and the nation very well for over 40 years until their replacement by the F-35. The defense ministry has been clear on their wish that Norwegian F-16s should see continued use by others within the NATO alliance. We are therefore pleased that the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency has agreed to sell up to 12 aircraft to Draken International, a company offering services to the US military,” former Norwegian defense minister Odd-Roger Enoksen said in December.

Norway, along with Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands, was one of the four initial European countries participating in the Multi National Fighter Program (MNFP) and ordered a total of 74 F-16A/B aircraft. According to F-16.net, of these, 56 were updated under the MLU program.

Photo credit: Master Sgt. Lee Osberry / U.S. Air Force

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Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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