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DefMin Ciuca: Arrival in Romania of 17th F-16 aircraft, new stage of operationalization, modernization

Inquam Photos / Octav Ganea
Nicolae Ciuca

The arrival in Romania of the seventeenth F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft represents the moment when the acquisition stage ends and a new stage begins, of operationalization and modernization of the first squadron of fourth-generation multi-role aircraft, Minister of Defense Nicolae Ciuca shows, on his Facebook page.

He points out that the F-16 aircraft with M5.2R configuration of the Romanian air Force will all go through a modernization program, to the M6.XR standard.

"The modernization program will be carried out with the involvement of the national defense industry. It is very important to ensure the maintenance of our military equipment locally. Aerostar Bacau has been designated as unique maintenance center for F-16 fighter jets and will ensure their maintenance and modernization," the minister states.

He adds that the Romanian defense is based on membership in NATO, the EU and other international organizations, on the strategic partnership with the USA and on the other strategic partnerships.

"But, first of all, we have a duty to rely on ourselves, on the institutions of the national Defense and Security system. That is why we must develop interoperable defense capabilities. The two percentages of Romania's Gross Domestic Product that are allocated to us for the fifth consecutive year, have allowed us to continue modernizing the infrastructure, to invest in education and to allocate an important share to major endowment programs, each of the newly started programs having a component involving Romanian companies," underlines Minister Ciuca.

On Monday, the 86th 'Locotenent aviator Gheorghe Mociornita' Air Base, Borcea has been set to host the ceremony for the reception and entry as part of the endowment of the Romanian Air Force of the last F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft from the lot of five aircraft that completes the 53rd Fighter Squadron.

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