The American second-hand F-16 aircrafts that Romania decided to purchase for its air forces will require costs worth of 900 mln to 1.2 billion dollars, according to discussions held by the Romanian National Defence Ministry and the US, sources who took part in negotiations declared for Romanian news agency Mediafax.
According to the sources, the planes are offered with no charge, but Romania still needs to pay about 900 million dollars to train the pilots, for maintenance and upgrade, as well as for transforming the airport infrastructures. A small part of this sum, namely over 400 million dollars, will be allocated for training Romanian pilots.
The sources have also claimed that the Romanian party intends to send 48 pilots in the US for training. They will take part in the programme for professional training which will stretch over more than 12 months.
On the other hand, Romania will still need to pay for the necessary ammunition that goes with the planes, so the total sum for the F-16 planes might amount to 1.2-1.2 billion dollars, sources claim. The final draft of the agreement will be signed by the Romanian and American governments.
Lockheed Martin reps to Romania have not revealed anything about the deal. This is the company that delivers the goods and reps say they have no authority to disclose more details. But they noted that Romania will buy 24 F-16 aircrafts, C type or D type, without mentioning the production year or the number of flight hours the aircrafts have already been subjected to.
Romania's Supreme Defence Council (CSAT) approved Defence Ministry's proposal of buying 24 used F-16 aircrafts. The document is still to be discussed by the Parliament. Romanian Defence minister Gabriel Oprea declared yesterday that the decision in favour of the F-16 aircrafts was made easy by the fact that Romania hasn't got money to spend.