Romania stopped flying all MiG-21 fighters due to high accident rates, and accelerated the plan to buy used F-16s from Norway.
Romania’s Ministry of Defense announced on April 15 that it will continue to operate the F-16 squadron after stopping the MiG-21 fighter jet, while other NATO member countries send aircraft to the Eastern European country to carry out missions. air control in an effort to strengthen the alliance’s eastern flank.
The decision was made after the Romanian MiG-21 crashed in early March, killing the pilot. An IAR-330 helicopter crashed while searching for a MiG-21 pilot, killing 7 people on board.
Romania operates 17 F-16 fighters, including 14 F-16AMs and three F-16BMs acquired from Portugal in 2016. The Romanian Defense Ministry said it will accelerate its plan to buy 32 F-16s from Norway, equivalent to two squadrons.
“The available resources from the aircraft of the three squadrons ensure our operation for at least 10 years, and form the transition to the F-35 fifth generation fighter,” the statement of the Ministry of National Defense said. Romanian rooms have passages.
Romania, which joined NATO in 2004, plans to increase defense spending from 2% to 2.5% of GDP next year. More than 3,000 NATO troops are stationed in Romania and an alliance battle group is expected to be stationed in the eastern European country.
The MiG-21 was developed by the Soviet Union in the 1950s, with nearly 11,500 units produced. The Romanian Air Force operates more than 20 MiG-21 LancerR variants, modernized in the period 1995-2002.
The F-16 multirole fighter, developed by General Dynamics in the 1970s, is used by the US and its allies. F-16 can reach a maximum speed of 2,100 km / h at an altitude of 12,000 m, a maximum ceiling of 18,000 m with a range of 546 km. F-16 is equipped with a 6-barrel 20mm cannon, 11 mounts that can carry 7.7 tons of weapons.
Nguyen Tien (According to Reuters)