Saab lost Romania fighter jet deal
BUCHAREST (AFP) - Romania turned down Swedish fighter jets as the country will purchase 24 second-hand F-16 fighter jets.
"Since Romania does not have the necessary resources to buy new multi-role combat aircraft, the CSAT has approved the defense ministry's proposal to purchase 24 second-hand F-16 jets," the Supreme Defense Council (CSAT) said in a press release at the end of a meeting headed by President Traian Basescu.
"The decision will be submitted to Parliament for approval."
Apart from the F-16, Romania was also considering purchasing Swedish-made Gripen jets (Saab), Eurofighters (EADS, BAE Systems and Alenia/Finmeccanica) and French-made Rafales (Dassault).
The jets made by US aerospace company Lockheed Martin will replace the ageing, Soviet-made MiG-21 Lancer aircraft currently used by the Romanian air force.
No detail on the cost of the purchase was immediately available.
Romania has long mulled the purchase of fighter planes but has delayed the decision due to a lack of funds.
In 2008, the defense ministry had argued that buying second-hand F-16 jets would enable Romania's armed forces to enjoy greater inter-operability with other NATO states.
At the time, military sources had said the second-hand jets would cost around 800 million dollars, while new ones could amount to 3.5 billion.
Last Updated (Wednesday, 24 March 2010 05:04)