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Romania approved for $340 million Sidewinder purchase

15th May 2024 - 10:42 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


Romania will receive 300 more Sidewinders for use with its F-16s. (Photo: Royal Canadian Air Force)

The AIM-9 Sidewinder is a short-range air-to-air missile (AAM). The heat-seeking AIM-9X Block 1 Sidewinder, the most widely used AAM on US and allied fighter aircraft, can also be mounted on helicopters.

The US State Department has approved the sale of 300 RTX (formerly Raytheon) Sidewinder AIM-9X Block II AAMs to Romania following a request from the eastern European country.

The deal, worth an estimated US$340.8 million, has included 40 AIM-9X Sidewinder Block II Tactical Missile Guidance Units, 40 AIM-9X Sidewinder Block II Captive Air Training Missiles (CATM) and 20 AIM-9X Sidewinder Block II CATM Guidance Units alongside the tactical missiles. 

Also included will be missile containers, personnel training and training equipment, classified and unclassified publications and technical documents, US government engineering, technical and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics and programme support.

Romania has been an existing owner of Sidewinder missiles which have been carried under its Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter aircraft.

Romania initially bought 17 F-16s from Portugal in 2016 and also bought Sidewinders as part of that purchase. The aircraft were approved for upgrade by the State Department in 2020.

In 2022, Romania’s government approved the purchase of 32 second-hand aircraft from Norway and logistical support and services for an estimated €454 million ($473 million). This was approved by the State Department last year.

In April, three additional Norwegian F-16s arrived in Portugal bringing the total number of ex-Norwegian aircraft received to six.

The first batch of three aircraft arrived in November 2023 and joined the 17 ex-Portuguese F-16AM/BM fighters the Romanian Air Force ordered, the last of which was delivered in 2021. The rest of the 26 ex-Norwegian fighter jets will be expected to be delivered by 2025.

The Shephard News Team


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