The Romanian Air Force has taken delivery of its 17th and final F-16 Fighting Falcon from Portugal, as part of its transition from the Soviet MiG-21 fleet to a more modern multi-role fighter.
The final F-16 arrived at the 86th Air Base in Borcea, Romania, on March 25, after a 3,500 km flight from Portugal. The aircraft made a refueling stop in Italy.
Romania received 12 F-16 fighters from Portugal between 2016 and 2017, after ordering them under a €628 million deal from 2013.
In 2019, the country announced the purchase of another five units, which have now all been delivered, for €250 million. The Romanian Air Force also declared an initial operational capability with the F-16 in 2019.
It is worth noting that all of the 17 F-16 fighters, which were built in the 1980s, received mid-life upgrades before being transferred to Romania. All 17 aircraft have the M.5.2R configuration, with capabilities similar to Block 50/52, according to the Romanian Air Force.
Romania still operates some 20 MiG-21 aircraft that were upgraded to the “Lancer” standard in cooperation with Israel.
In addition to the 17 F-16s it already acquired, the Eastern European country is also considering a purchase of up to 48 F-16 aircraft from the US that would equip two more squadrons.