The lieutenant general did not specify how many tanks they wanted to buy, but noted that since “it is an entire battalion” it is not necessary to contract with the manufacturer, the purchase it can only be implemented through an intergovernmental agreement with the United States of America. Anticipating possible criticism of the choice of the MAPN, Incicas added that many people imagine that the Abrams is an outdated tank without knowing the American modernization programs.
We are talking about a stripped-down tank with the right protection systems, which will then be fitted in the version we require
explained the lieutenant general.
According to Incicas, more at MAPN 40-50 weapons and equipment procurement programs are underway. Among them, he mentioned that Romania signed a contract with Norway last year for the purchase of 32 used F-16 fighter jets: they are expected to be delivered this year and during 2024. F-16 squadrons are seen as a temporary solution until the fifth-generation F-35 fighter jets are procured, of which the first squadron is planned to enter service after 2030.
Included in the plans for the modernization of the military forces in Bucharest four out of seven Patriot anti-missile systems have been purchased so far: two have already been taken over, and the arrival of the other two is expected by the end of the first quarter. One battery of the three HIMARS-type, high-mobility serial launcher systems has already arrived in 2021, a second one is in the process of being received, and the third is expected for next year, the lieutenant general listed.
Incicas also announced that Romania also plans to acquire submarines and minesweepers, and wants to modernize its missile-carrying warships, but did not provide details about these programs. According to the lieutenant general, the equipment of the Romanian army is also being modernized with self-developed devices: among them, he mentioned a “tactical pocket drone” that can help soldiers scout their immediate surroundings in street battles. The Romanian military technology research center has also developed an unmanned aircraft with a range of 100 kilometers, and is now working on a version capable of vertical take-off and landing. After their approval, they want to regularize them in the Romanian army.
On the other hand, MAPN is seven Watchkeeper signed the contract for the purchase of an X-type robotic aircraft system with Israel’s Elbit Systems, and in the next few days is conducting negotiations with the Turkish manufacturer about the purchase of Bayraktar-2 combat drones, which gained fame in the war in Ukraine, the purchase of which has already been approved by the Romanian Parliament – detailed the head of the General Directorate of Armament Supply of the Romanian Army.
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