The Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (NDMA, Forsvarsmateriell) has signed an agreement between Norway and Romania for the delivery of 32 Norwegian F-16 fighter jets. Kongsberg Aviation Maintenance Services (KAMS) has for the last two years been contracted to prepare the Norwegian F-16 jets for resale. The contract covers overhaul, preparation and completion. As Norway and Romania now have entered into an agreement, it is expected to see an extension and an expansion of the existing contract between KONGSBERG and the Norwegian Defence Material Agency. KONGSBERG will provide an update when such an agreement is in place with NDMA. Following the RFI answer received in 2020, Romania has since 2021 expressed interest in acquiring the former Norwegian Air Force aircraft as part of an effort to strengthen the capabilities of the Romanian Air Force.
“I am very pleased that we have been able to finalise this agreement, which is Norway’s largest ever sale of government owned military equipment. Norwegian F-16s have been among the best maintained of their kind, with high technical standards throughout. I congratulate the negotiation teams of both countries for their efforts. Through this agreement, our F-16s will continue to serve one of our NATO-allies for several years to come,” said Ms. Gro Jære, Director General of the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency.
“The agreement signed by the NDMA will help strengthen the air power of one of our allies, at the same time as it will generate revenues for both Norwegian industry and the Norwegian state,” said Norwegian Minister of Defence, Bjørn Arild Gram.
The final agreement was signed 4 November following months of negotiations and includes 32 aircraft along with spare parts and support equipment, as well as maintenance and technical training services. Under the contract all aircraft will undergo necessary maintenance and aircraft modification to M6.5.2 Romanian configuration with US support prior to delivery, currently scheduled for 2023-24. This work will be conducted by Norwegian industry, which also will provide training and other logistical services that will support the long-term availability of the aircraft. When selling the F-16 fleet the NDMA have worked to also secure opportunities for Norwegian industry. In this particular case, to supplement the NDMA sale of aircraft and equipment, Kongsberg Aviation Maintenance Services has been chosen as a strategic partner, delivering support, maintenance and training of Romanian technical personnel.