NATO is strengthened by Romania’s acquisition of the F-35 JSF. This European country, a member of the Atlantic Alliance, has recently announced the purchase of Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fifth-generation stealth fighters for its air force.
The decision comes after a year in which Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting the US Air Force to deploy some of these planes to the region.
Romania strengthens its defense.
Romania had been considering the acquisition of F-35s since before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but the deployment of these aircraft by the United States probably accentuated the importance of having a strong and efficient air defense system.
The Romanian Supreme Defense Council states, “Having strong, credible, interoperable, flexible, and efficient air defense operational capabilities is key to meeting our defense policy objectives.”
In addition to the F-35s, Romania has also procured US-made M1 Abrams tanks and Israel’s Watchkeeper X unmanned aerial systems. These acquisitions demonstrate Romania’s commitment to modernizing its military force and its role as a pillar of regional security in NATO and the EU.
Romania in the European Context
Part of the Warsaw Pact during the Cold War, Romania joined NATO in March 2004. Since then, it has steadily increased its annual defense spending, announcing that it will increase its budget to 2.5% of its GDP in the next year. In addition, Romania is a member of the OSCE and CCAN and shares a 650 km border with Ukraine.
Control of the Focșani Gate, near the border with Moldova and Ukraine, is considered key to the security of Romania and NATO, as it would allow access to vast stretches of Romanian territory and other regions of Europe.
For all these reasons, Romania’s acquisition of the F-35 is one more step in the modernization of its air force and strengthening of its role in NATO and the European Union.
F-35, the NATO fighter
The F-35 Lightning II is one of the most advanced and sophisticated aircraft in the world and is operated or will be operated in the coming years by several NATO members, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Denmark, Italy, Belgium, Norway, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Finland, Poland, and Switzerland.
Romania’s acquisition of these aircraft demonstrates its commitment to its military modernization and its role as a strategic ally in NATO.
The Future of Defense in Europe
Several countries have increased their defense spending in the EU and NATO in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Romania’s acquisition of the F-35 exemplifies this trend and demonstrates the importance of a strong and efficient defense system in the European region.
With the addition of the F-35s, Romania is prepared to fulfill its missions and continue to be a pillar of security in Europe.