The Government will approve the draft law on the acquisition of the first Patriot missile system on Wednesday, and it will be presented to the Parliament in the next two weeks, Minister of National Defence Mihai Fifor announced on Tuesday. "Yes, by the end of the year, we will spend 764 million dollars on the first Patriot system," Minister Fifor told Europa FM.
The minister added that for the purchase of four gunships a down payment of 30pct of the total would be paid this year, and in Brasov a team of the Defence Ministry (MApN) would have technical discussions this week with the Ghimbav plant to determine the final value of the contract. The Government, through the MApN, will attempt to cover this year two of the eight programmes for Army endowment approved by the Parliament and the CSAT, namely the acquisition of the first Patriot missile system and the implementation of the industrial cooperation agreement with General Dynamics for the production of armoured vehicles, Fifor recently announced.
In this context, also at FM Romania, the defence minister stated that there are all kinds of provocations from Russia, aimed at testing NATO capabilities, but Romania is ready to face meet these provocations at any moment, either they are in the area cyberattacks, or presences close to the Romanian Black Sea airspace. "These are things that Romania is prepared to counteract, because this is our role as a NATO member state in this region. (...) The Romanian fleet is undergoing upgrade, the same as other capabilities of the Romanian Army. I do not think anybody is trying to be unrealistic when discussing this issue. The Romanian Army, unfortunately, has seen many years when it was underfinanced and the programmes of endowment were somewhat lateral. The PSD-ALDE Government has assumed the allocation of 2pct and purchasing military equipment is not quite easy," added the minister.