Norway announced Thursday that it has completed the sale of 32 F-16 fighter jets to Romania, after a green light from the US and Norwegian authorities.
Last November, he announced the sale, which has a value of 388 million euros ($418 million).
“This sale will allow modernization and strengthening of the defense of an allied country neighboring Ukraine,” Norwegian Defense Minister Bjorn Arild Gramm said in a statement.
During a meeting with foreign media at the end of May, Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Storr ruled out the possibility of withdrawing from this contract in order to deliver these aircraft to Ukraine to help it confront the Russian invasion.
By obtaining the 32 aircraft and 17 others it bought from Portugal, Romania will modernize its air force after abandoning in May its old “MiG-21 Lancer” aircraft inherited from the Soviet era.
Prior to their delivery to Bucharest, the Norwegian planes will undergo maintenance at Kongsberg Aviation Maintenance Services Group.
Norway is modernizing its fleet of the latest F-35 fighters from the American group, Lockheed Martin. Oslo plans to buy 52 of them.
Norway stopped using the Norwegian F-16 aircraft, produced by American General Dynamics, in early 2022.
Of the 57 planes Norway could offer, 12 have been sold to the US private group Drakken International but have not been delivered.
Theoretically, the Scandinavian country has so far some models that can be delivered to Ukraine if the authorities decided to join the coalition of Western countries that announced their desire to deliver F-16 aircraft to Ukraine to help it repel the Russian invasion.
The Norwegian government announced that it is studying ways to help train the Ukrainians on the “F-16” without taking any decision at this stage on the possibility of supplying Kiev with aircraft.