Romania’s parliament has approved the purchase of fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II fighter jets. The Romanian Ministry of National Defence expects to sign a letter of acceptance with the U.S. government for 32 Lockheed Martin-made aircraft in 2024.
A spokesperson for the Romanian MND told Breaking Defense that the first aircraft under the Eastern European country’s F-35 Endowment Program could be delivered to the Romanian Air Force by 2030.
The program, reportedly valued at $6.5 billion, will also include the acquisition of 35 engines, weapons and ammunitions, simulators, training and logistics support, the spokesperson said.
Romania’s Supreme Council on National Defense, chaired by President Klaus Iohannis, approved the acquisition in April.
Romania’s upcoming fleet of F-35s will be deployed to the Black Sea and NATO’s eastern flank as Europe continues to face threats from the Russian Federation.
Recently, Romania signed an agreement with Ukraine to support the latter’s export of grain amid Russian strikes on port facilities along the Danube River. About 60 percent of grains harvested in Ukraine will be transported through Romania.