Three more Norwegian F-16AM/BM Block 15s arrived in Romania

The Romanian Air Force [FAR, Forțele Aeriene Române] received three more F-16AM/BM Block 15s on April 19, when the planes landed at Câmpia Turzii Air Base, home of the recently restored Escadrila 48 Vânătoare [48 Fighter Squadron]. These three fighters are part of a purchase contract between Norway and Romania, with Bucharest set to receive a total of 32 ex-Norwegian F-16s by 2025. 

Three more Norwegian F-16AM/BM Block 15s arrived in Romania
Photo credit: FAR

With the addition of these F-16s, the Romanian Air Force has already received six fighters from Norway. Five of them are the F-16AM version, while the sixth is the F-16BM variant. Once the transfer of Norwegian fighter jets to Romania is complete, the Balkan country will boast a fleet of 49 F-16 fighter jets. 

The first three F-16s arrived in Romania at the end of November 2023, taking off from Norway’s Rygge Air Station. These aircraft were piloted by Romanian pilots.

In late 2021, Romania expressed a desire to purchase used Norwegian fighter jets. Almost a year later, Norway consented to the sale. However, approval from the US was pending since it has the final say as the producing country. Finally, Washington cleared the deal on June 30, 2023. 

The Norwegian F-16 Block 15 fighter jets belong to the broader F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft family – a single-engine supersonic multirole fighter aircraft primarily developed by General Dynamics for the United States Air Force. Specifically, the Block 15 variant is an upgraded model filled with advanced capabilities and features. 

Let’s discuss the technical characteristics of the F-16 Block 15. It features a maximum speed of over Mach 2, a range of 2,620 kilometers, and a service ceiling of 50,000 feet. The aircraft is kitted out with an internal M61 Vulcan cannon, and it possesses 11 hardpoints for attaching various weapons and other mission equipment. 

In Norway, 12 deeply modernized combat-ready F-16s are aging
Photo by Eirik Helland Urke

We would be remiss not to mention the propulsion system of the F-16 Block 15. It’s powered by a single Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-200 afterburning turbofan engine. This engine can generate up to 23,830 pounds of thrust, enabling the aircraft to achieve its top speed and perform intricate maneuvers.

When it comes to avionics, the F-16 Block 15 is decked out with the AN/APG-66 radar, enabling all-weather, day, and night detection, as well as tracking of air and ground targets. Moreover, it boasts an advanced navigation system, an integrated electronic warfare suite, and a modular mission computer to enhance processing power. 

A few other avionic systems include the AN/ALR-69 radar warning receiver, which arms the pilot with alerts to possible radar threats, and the AN/ALQ-131 electronic countermeasures pod, capable of jamming enemy radar systems. The aircraft also features a heads-up display [HUD] that projects crucial flight and combat information onto the pilot’s visor. 

32 Romanian F-16s will receive TTP 'Friend and Foe' integration
Photo credit: RNAF

As stated by BulgarianMilitary.com, three more F-16 fighter jets, sourced from the Netherlands, landed in Romania on April 17. However, it’s important to clarify that these won’t be serving the Romanian Air Force. Instead, these robust technologies are intended to train Ukrainian pilots in the upcoming months. Since last November, the Dutch have conscientiously supplied eight out of a proposed total of 18 F-16s to the training center. In addition, they have pledged to send a full set of 24 F-16s for deployment in Ukraine. The first delivery from this commitment is anticipated to touch down in Ukraine later this year, complementing earlier arrivals by the Danish military.

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