Norway has replaced its fleet of F-16 fighter jets with the new F-35.
– The F-16 aircraft have served the Armed Forces and the nation for over 40 years until they are now replaced by the F-35. In 2019, the Ministry of Defence commissioned the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency to dispose of the F-16 system within current regulations in the most favorable way for the state. I am very pleased that it is now Romania, a NATO ally, who wants to buy 32 Norwegian F-16s from us so that the aircraft can be useful for several years to come, says Minister of Defence Odd-Roger Enoksen.
The F-16 has been a formidable capacity for the Air Force and the defence of Norway. The F-16 has claimed sovereignty in Norwegian airspace, as well as participated in a number of national and international operations and exercises until they are now taken out of service at the turn of the year.
The bilateral relations between Norway and Romania are good. A sale to Romania will give the Romanian armed forces a significant and rapid boost in their combat air power.
It was in 2019 that the Ministry of Defence commissioned The Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency to dispose of the F-16 system within current regulations in the most favorable way for the state.
– The process for selling this type of military equipment to other nations is extensive, and there have also been several players in the market. I am therefore very pleased that Romania has now decided to buy our F-16 aircraft. Our fighter jets are among the best maintained in the world and they have been regularly upgraded. I am sure that our aircraft will serve Romania well for a number of years to come, says director at The Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency, Mette Sørfonden.
Now that Romania has decided to buy Norwegian F-16s, The Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency will start detailing and finalizing the contract between the nations. Before the planes are handed over to Romania, they are scheduled to undergo maintenance.
– In the sales process, it has been important to us that the contract will also provide income to Norwegian industry. Kongsberg Aviation Maintenance Services has been chosen as a strategic partner and will provide both support, maintenance and training of Romanian technical personnel, says director of The Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency, Mette Sørfonden.
A resale of the F-16 requires third-party approval from the US authorities and for export, as in this case, an export license from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is also required. There is thus strict control over who can receive the Norwegian F-16 aircraft.
According to the plan, the first aircraft will be delivered in 2023 and the last aircraft will be delivered during 2024. For the remaining aircraft that cannot be sold, an overall assessment will be made regarding the possibilities for exhibition at a museum or other purposes. Here, too, approval from the American and Norwegian authorities will be required.