Romania wants to buy a battalion of M1A2 Abrams tanks from the US.

On December 1, during the military parade organized for the national holiday, the spokesman for the Romanian Ministry of Defense, General Constantin Spinu, indicated that the process of acquiring new battle tanks would be launched to replace the old ones. T-85M1 Bizonul [an evolution, in short, of the Soviet T-55].

“The Ukrainian war has shown us the importance of artillery, tanks, air defense, logistics, and the ability to project forces for long periods and keep them in contact with the enemy,” Spinu explained. Hence, he went on, the launch a “medium to long-term tank acquisition program.” However, he declined to provide further details.

Based on industry sources, the specialized Romanian website Defense Romania had suggested that two models were in the balance, namely the American M1A2 Abrams and the German Leopard 2A7+.

 But the candidacy of the South Korean K-2 “Black Panther” could not be excluded either due to the rapprochement between Bucharest and Seoul on defense matters, which recently resulted in the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Romanian public company ROMARM and Hanwha Aerospace, to establish a ‘global partnership’ concerning K-9 Thunder howitzers and K-21 ‘Redback’ infantry fighting vehicles [IFVs].

Finally, General Teodor Incicaș, head of the local General Directorate of Armaments, announced the choice of the future tank for the Romanian army.

In the coming days, we will submit to Parliament for prior approval requests to purchase tracked self-propelled howitzers, infantry fighting vehicles, short- and very-short-range air defense systems, and two types of missiles for our F-16 aircraft. At the same time, our purchase request for an Abrams tank battalion is in the approval process,” General Incicaș declared in a video released by the Romanian Ministry of Defense.

In the Romanian Army, a battalion has 54 main battle tanks. The choice of the Abrams «corresponds to the General Staff of the land forces. 

It was done after an evaluation,” General Incicaș later declared. The cars will be purchased through a private [or “government-to-government”] process. In other words, the purchase will be made under the so-called Foreign Military Sales [FMS] scheme.

The amount of the investment to be made by the Romanian Ministry of Defense has not been specified. However, the US administration had approved the sale of 250 M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams -produced by General Dynamics Land Systems- to Poland for an estimated amount of around five billion euros. The contract included the supply of spare parts and ammunition, as well as the training of the Polish military and logistical support.