Romanian aircraft IAR 99 for future F16 pilots

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By Jerom Bolt
The Craiova Aircraft Factory will upgrade 10 IAR 99 Soim aircraft to be trained by future F16 pilots. The PM, the Minister of Defense, the Minister of Economy, and representatives of the Army visited the factory on Friday and discussed the new program to be financed by the Romanian state.
Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said on Friday in Craiova that a program was approved in the Superior Council of Country Defense (CSAT) aimed at financing the Craiova Aircraft factory where IAR 99 Soim aircraft will be upgraded so that they can be used for training. of future military pilots of F16 aircraft.
Approximately 100 million euros will be allocated to the Romanian state for the modernization of 10 aircraft, if the Parliament approves this funding. The program should start in March, and the old planes will be transformed into modern, state-of-the-art aircraft.
“We are talking about the modernization of the ten standard planes and the elimination of obsolete elements. Some will be totally replaced, others will be upgraded, but the entire cabin is not replaced. The IAR 99 Şoim aircraft will be upgraded so that they can train pilots before boarding the aircrafts. There are several reasons: once it is a school aircraft and two – the flight time on an IAR 99 modernized will be much cheaper than an hour flight on the F16 plane. The reconfiguration of the aircraft cabin has been carried out, and other necessary procedures will be carried out, so that in March the process of awarding the offer to Avioane Craiova will begin … “, a representative of the company said.
Avioane Craiova S.A. was established in 1972 for developing, manufacturing and providing product support of military aircraft to Romanian Air Force.
The company began by co-operating with former Yugoslavia and developing the joint project of the ground attack aircraft IAR-93 (around 200 aircraft were built and entered in service since then).
During the 1980’s, an advanced jet trainer IAR-99 was designed in co-operation with the National Institute for Aerospace, manufactured inhere; the aircraft is still currently in production and in Romanian Air Force service, as a modernized version IAR 99 SOIM. Designed, manufactured in Avioane’s own facilities and certified with MoD’s Flight Test Centre flight test facilities, it is a proof of the company’s outstanding capabilities as an ideal partner in aircraft development and manufacture.

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