By Jerom Bolt
The Minister of National Defense (MApN), Nicolae Ciuca, met with Lockheed Martin company president Marillyn Hewson today. The discussions focused on the implementation of the programs of equipping the Romanian Army with equipment from the American company, the involvement of the national defense industry in the production, assembly or maintenance of equipment that Romania buys from Lockheed Martin.
“The topics on the agenda of the talks concerned the stage of implementation of the endowment programs in progress with this company, as well as those in the operation and support stage, the multi-role aircraft F-16, the Multiple Rocket Launcher – HIMARS, the Ground Systems – PATRIOT air, long distance radars or radar for surveillance at low and medium heights, ”transmits MApN.
“Also, aspects related to the opportunities of industrial cooperation that could involve the national defense industry in the production, assembly or maintenance of equipment from the company’s portfolio, which are or are about to enter the Romanian Army, were analyzed,” the ministry said.
Recently Romania announced that it will acquire from Portugal five more F16 fighter jets from Portugal, airplanes produced by Lockheed Martin and which will undergo a Mid-Life Upgrade upgrade by the US. Subsequently, the five aircraft will join the other 12 F16 aircraft already equipped with the Romanian Air Force, and all will be upgraded to Bacau Aerostar.
Also at Aerostar, maintenance and capital repairs will be ensured in the future and not only for the Romanian planes, but also for other surrounding states that have purchased or will purchase the F16 model.
Romania and Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of the F16 aircraft, have signed since 2017 an agreement for the transfer of technology for the maintenance and repair of the F16 aircraft at Aerostar Bacău.
In addition to the F-16 aircraft, Romania has recently purchased from Lockheed Martin and three ground-to-ground missile-based artillery systems for about $ 1.5 billion, the first system to come into use in 2020.
Each system has 18 launch facilities. Romania’s equipment needs three different types of guided / guided missiles that can hit surface or point ground targets up to 300 km. The HIMARS launcher is truck mounted and can accommodate six 222mm M270 missiles or a single MGM-140 ATACMS missile.
Basically, in addition to the 54 launchers, the contract also provides for the acquisition of 81 missiles type M31A1 Unitary and 81 missiles type M30A1 Alternative warhead, but also 54 missiles type ATACMS, which have an effective range of up to 300 km.
In addition to this missile system, Romania has already contracted from the United States the purchase of seven Patriot batteries in the latest hardware-software configuration, packaged with several hundred interceptors. Of the seven batteries, four will be in the Air Force and three will be in the Ground Forces, and the first battery should reach the country by 2020.
Among other components of the Patriot contract, Romania will receive 168 PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) missiles made by Lockheed Martin.
Romania has been operating since 1998 a series of 3D radars purchased from Lockheed Martin.
Romania has also been operating since 2010 the three-dimensional TPS-79 Gap Filler radar, a mobile radar used for surveillance of airspace at low and medium altitudes, as part of Air Traffic Control missions, as well as for tactical air defense missions. (Air Defense).
17 such systems have been contracted since 2008, which were added to two other products initially. The radar has a range of 190 km and the targets can be detected up to a height of 10,000 m.
By Jerom Bolt