The Romanian Army will procure its first Patriot missile system by the end of the year, Defence Minister Mihai Fifor stated on Wednesday.
“We are waiting for the approval letter of the United States so that we can move on to contracting and we can purchase the first program,” affirmed the minister.
The PAC 3 Plus Missile System that Romania is considering acquiring has an estimated life of 30 years, according to sources of the defence ministry.
On July 11, the U.S. Department of State approved a possible sale of Patriot systems to Romania worth 3.9 billion U.S. dollars, after bilateral negotiations earlier this year on the purchase of Patriot batteries.
The acquisition will provide protection from aggressive air attacks not only for Romania, “it also contributes to the defense of Romania’s neighbors and the NATO alliance as a whole,” U.S. Ambassador in Bucharest Hans Klemm told local media in July.
The short and medium-range surface-to-air missile systems currently used by Romania are largely obsolete, as most of them were made in the former Soviet Union and technical operating resources are almost overused and their chances for upgrading are unsustainable, according to the defence ministry.