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Romania getting new laser guided training rounds for its F-16s via NATO

Romanian F-16 with laser guided training round
Photo: NSPA

The Romanian Air Force will be receiving enhanced laser guided training rounds for its F-16 Fighting Falcon combat aircraft via the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA).

Romania, as part of the NSPA ammunition support partnership, benefits from an outline agreement between NSPA and Lockheed Martin. The agreement is in effect through 2021 and allows NSPA to purchase up to 3,000 training rounds a year for the next five years on behalf of NATO nations.

A ground and air crew training took place on November 16 and 17, at the Romanian F-16 Air Base of Borcea. A day later, the first two missions were successfully executed by Base Commander Colonel Catalin Miclos and Squadron Commander Colonel Mihaita Marin.

The rounds will provide live-drop training at lower cost compared to the tactical Paveway II laser guided bombs. This will be beneficial for the Romanian Air Force budget, providing an increased range training rate for viper’s drivers making them more proficient in precision guided munitions deliveries.

The Romanian Air Force operates 17 F-16 Fighting Falcons it received from Portugal as part of its transition from the Soviet MiG-21 fleet to a more modern multi-role fighter.

“NSPA has provided Romanian Air Force a great support in order to achieve a cost-effective and efficient modern employment training solution that will enhance our F-16 capabilities. With today’s range limitations and budget constraints, the ELGTR provides aircrews with the ability to improve training frequency through an effective combination of lower unit cost and a smaller range safety footprint when compared to the tactical Paveway II LGBs,” Romanian Air Force representative Captain Engineer Radu Catalin Mihalache said.

The NATO multinational air-to-ground precision guided munitions involves thirteen allies and one NATO partner (Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, the United Kingdom and Finland).