Romania presents to Parliament a military modernization plan of 10

According to local media reports, the Romanian Ministry of National Defense asked for Parliament’s consent to acquire several weapons systems for a total cost of some 10 billion euros.

Most of the details have been disclosed in various interviews given by Lieutenant General Teodor Incicaş, General Director of Armaments at the Ministry of Defense and National Director of Armaments of Romania.

Initial plans call for the majority of the funds to finance the acquisition of 41 short- and very-short-range missile systems (SHORAD/VSHORAD) valued at €4.2 billion.

In the initial phase, which will start this year and last until 2031, the Ministry of Defense intends to purchase six integrated V/SHORAD systems for the Air Force and six short-range and six very short-range systems for the Ground Forces. This initial phase will have an estimated cost of 2,100 million euros.

The Ministry of Defense also wants to buy 298 infantry fighting vehicles worth almost 3,000 million euros for the Land Forces. In phase I, which begins this year, 246 cars will be purchased and delivered over the next nine years at an estimated cost of €2.5 billion.

The army will buy 155mm self-propelled howitzers for five battalions.

The Romanian Army intends to switch to NATO 155mm caliber artillery and is initiating procurement of 155mm self-propelled howitzers needed to equip five Ground Forces battalions. The value of the contract is estimated at almost 2,000 million euros.

Phase I, which will start up again in 2023, provides for the acquisition of enough SPHs to equip the first three battalions, the cost of which, including logistical support and ammunition, is estimated at €1.15 billion.

The Air Force wants 500 air-to-air missiles.

The Ministry of National Defense intends to purchase about 500 air-to-air missiles for the F-16 fighters currently in service. For the medium range, the plan is to purchase 186 AIM-120 AMRAAMs for $372 million, while the purchase of 299 AIM-9X Sidewinders will provide the short-range segment. Worth 239 million dollars. The missiles will be purchased through a government-to-government agreement with the United States in both cases.

Lieutenant General Teodor Incicaş spoke in an episode of the podcast produced by Observatorul Militar in early March about the equipment programs of the Romanian Army and the factors that hinder the purchase of certain military equipment.

“Regarding the equipment programs, we are talking about 40-50 “alive” programs. That is, if we talk about ongoing acquisitions and contracts, we are talking about 40 programs that are running at the same time: programs whose contracts are in progress, programs that are in the acquisition phase, and programs that are either waiting after approval from the Romanian Parliament or have been approved and are waiting for the acquisition phase to start.

By the end of March, Romania will have 4 Patriot missile systems and will buy three more, Incicas said. He specified that the first two Patriots have already been delivered, two more are planned for the end of the first quarter (i.e., this week), but three more will be purchased this year to bring the total to seven complete systems.

150 additional Piranha 5 armored vehicles

Regarding the Piranha 5 program, Incicaş specified that it is a framework agreement for 227 vehicles, with two subsequent contracts: one with 94 vehicles (concluded, with the third batch already received) and another with 133 vehicles, with the first batch of 47 Vehicles scheduled for delivery by the end of this year.

Romania presents to Parliament a military modernization plan of 10

The ministry also intends to buy another 150 Piranha 5s in addition to the 227. The delay in the program is due to Romania requesting that the command and control system be produced in-country. The delays also caused penalties to the production company.

But these contracts also brought opportunities in the Romanian labor market. For the first follow-on contract, certain parts were produced in the country, such as those related to the vehicle sensors. The second contract will manufacture the armored helmet in Romania from 2023.

“For the production of the armored helmet, this company needs to employ about 30 welders. So many jobs appear just for welding,” Incicas said.

Romania will receive all F-16 aircraft from Norway in 2024

If things go well for the HIMARS program, due to be completed next year, Lt. Gen. Incicaş says the F-16 multi-role aircraft program is “complex,” and all the plans will probably be received next year. Of the Norwegians, updating the 32 aircraft, and adapting its software to Romanian needs, is taking place in the United States and is complicating the process.

“The acquisition of the F-16 aircraft is an intermediate phase until the acquisition of the 5th generation aircraft, that is, the F-35s,” says Incicaş, adding that the first squadron of F-35s could be delivered to Romania shortly after 2030.

Two major procurements that the ministry is about to initiate concern light armored tactical vehicles (1,059), command posts at the brigade level, and computer systems for the commanders at the battalion level.

Romania will buy Abrams tanks.

At the same time, the acquisition of an Abrams tank battalion and a comprehensive new naval package to increase combat capabilities at sea will also be submitted to Parliament for approval. This package will include submarines, mine hunters, and the modernization of missile carriers. 

Regarding the submarines, Incicas mentioned that the ministry wants them to be purchased in 4 or 5 years but did not specify their number. Starting in 2024, the military will have new assault weapons.

In addition to these, the head of the General Directorate of Armaments also mentioned the plan to purchase infantry light weapons, most likely in 2024, with 100% manufacturing in Romania.

As for the production of ammunition by state entities, Teodor Indicaş says that if ammunition for old equipment goes well, Romania still depends on some foreign suppliers for newer and more modern equipment.

However, all ammunition producers in NATO or EU countries are under increasing pressure to increase their ammunition production, raising the possibility of bloc-level joint procurement. He also said that, currently, they are trying to resume the production of gunpowder and explosives in the country so as not to depend more on imports.

Via: Defense aerospace