The Council of Ministers today adopted a resolution authorizing the Portuguese Air Force to bear the costs arising from the sale of five F-16 aircraft to Romania. The costs will then be covered in full by the new sale contract to be concluded.
Romania has formalized its interest for the purchase of an additional set of F-16 aircraft, including associated logistical support goods and services. Portugal initiated the F-16 aircraft acquisition program from the United States in 1990, and modernized forty aircraft using the capabilities of the national aviation industry.
As in the course of the previous divestiture, it is necessary to incorporate three more US-assigned F-16 aircraft as Excess Defense Articles (EDA), which will later be upgraded to the Mid Life Update (MLU) standard.
The number of aircraft assigned to the Portuguese Air Force will maintain the capacity recommended by the National Forces System, with the Portuguese State considering that there are conditions to dispose of the remaining aircraft.
In order to allow the supply of these additional goods and services to Romania, without affecting the operational capacity of the Portuguese Air Force, the Council of Ministers authorizes the financing of the expenses inherent to the realization of the sale, namely the preparation of the aircraft configuration, the general overhaul of the engines, the training, logistical support and retention of a technical support team in Romania by 2023, as well as the modernization of three F-16 aircraft obtained in the US, the supply of parts and maintenance of the F-16MLU weapon system, at an estimated overall amount of € 130 000 000 (€ 30 million).
The new contract to be concluded, with benefits for both States, will strengthen cooperation between Portugal and Romania, enabling the profitability of technical skills and the increase of the operational capacity of the Portuguese Air Force.