Social Democratic leader Mircea Geaona accused the government again on Monday of negotiating a deal for 48 airplanes after on Sunday he argued the same in a HotNews.ro - BBC interview. The leader of the main opposition party in Romania adds that in his opinion the country does not need 48 new airplanes now. However, Defense Ministry officials argue that half of the total purchase may include used planes.
Geoana said that a government's 1997 report shows that Romania needed 48 defense airplanes but in 11 years time, necessities within the ministry change significantly. At its turn, Defense Minister Teodor Melescanu points that his ministry bases his requests upon a 2007 report.
Moreover, Defense Ministry spokesperson Andreea Dumitru declared that Melescanu has been previously heard by several specialized Parliament committees and he informed on several occassions on his ministry intentions to purchase new airplanes.
Defense Ministry officials argue that 5 companies have answered the Ministry's request: SAAB – Sweden, F – 16 C/D block 50/52,by Lockheed Martin – USA, Rafale, produced by Dassault Aviation – France, Eurofighter Typhoon, developed by Germany, Italy, UK and Spain and F-18 produced by Boeing.