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DefMin Ciuca at Patriot missile system reception ceremony: Essential equipment; three more by 2022

Inquam Photos / Octav Ganea
Inquam Nicolae Ciucă

Romania's Defence Minister Nicolae Ciuca said Thursday that Patriot missile system received the same day is one of the most efficient and best air defence systems in existence and that it will be followed by three more to join the Romanian Air Force by the end of 2022.

"The Black Sea region has a special strategic importance, not only to Romania, but to the entire Euro-Atlantic area. Security in this area, marked by complex and constantly evolving challenges, is vital in ensuring the security of all of us. Getting the first Patriot system operational is just the first step in achieving a formidable air defence capability for Romania, which will make a significant contribution to strengthening NATO's deterrence and defence posthure on the eastern flank. The Patriot system received today will be followed by three more that will join the Romanian Air Force by the end of 2022. Starting today, the Romanian Army has one of the most efficient and best long-range air defence systems, capable of fulfilling the full range of missions in the area of responsibility, regardless of weather," Ciuca said at the Capul Midia National Air Defence Training Centre.

He pointed out that the Romanian Army is becoming the 17th country to have such a capability and the seventh among NATO member countries, being about "an essential piece equipment, in the most modern form found in manufacturing, a defensive system tested in battle, improved over time."

At the same time, Ciuca said this is the first important piece of equipment purchased and delivered after the signing in 2015 of the national political agreement on increasing Romania's defence spending.

"Romania has acquired the most modern hardware and software configuration of missile systems. The same as the one currently used by the United States armed forces, which allows counteracting all types of current air threats. The reception of these systems will increase the level of co-operation between Romania and the United States, and the transfer of sensitive know-how and intelligence will increase the level of trust between the two allies. This consolidation of the strategic partnership between our countries still offers an essential guarantee for national security, with enhanced values in the current regional and international security environment that is both difficult and complex," he said.

At the same time, Ciuca said that the Defence Ministry, together with the Ministry of Economy, will take steps to identify "the most suitable business operator, to entrust its maintenance" and to make the technology transfer.

Also attending the, Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said that Romania is safer with these missiles on its soil, and Romanian citizens are better defended.

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