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Israel’s Elbit to upgrade Romania’s IAR-99 trainer jets

IAR-99 trainer
Romanian Air Force file photo of an IAR-99 trainer

Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems revealed on December 14 that it has been awarded a $27 million contract for the upgrades of Romanian Air Force IAR-99 trainer aircraft.

The contract was awarded to Elbit by Romanian-based company Avioane Craiova S.A.. Elbit said the contract would be performed over a four-year period.

The IAR-99 Standard aircraft will be upgraded into the IAR-99 SM configuration with advanced avionics systems and live training embedded virtual avionics systems. They will also receive close air support and air to air capabilities.

IAR-99 is the first jet trainer to be designed and built in Romania. Development of the aircraft started in 1975, while a total of 17 aircraft were delivered to the air force by the late 1980s.

Elbit noted that the technology upgrade would facilitate an effective transition of Romanian pilots to the operation of advanced fighter aircraft such as the F-16.

The company announced the contract award eight months after the Romanian defense ministry selected Avioane Craiova S.A. to deliver the upgrades for 10 IAR-99 Standard aircraft.

Yoram Shmuely, General Manager of Elbit Systems Aerospace, commented: “We are honored to provide continued support for the RoAF. This upgrade program follows a range of technologies delivered by Elbit Systems to the RoAF in collaboration with Romanian companies, including large scale upgrades for various fixed-wing aircraft as well as the supply of advanced capabilities for rotary-wing aircraft.”

Photo: Romanian Air Force