Friday, April 2, 2010

Romania Chooses F-16 Over F-35

Romania has signed a deal to purchase 48 F-16 fighters from the US. 24 of the aircraft will be new build Block 50s, to be delivered by 2020. The remaining 24 will be refurbished Block 25s, recently retired from US use and now sitting in the boneyard in Tucson. The deal is said to be worth $4.5 billion, including spares and training. This will give Romania two squadrons of capable fighter bombers, compatible with NATO standards.

The order was chosen over an offer for 24 F-35s at a cost of over $6 billion (at current aircraft cost, which is very likely to go higher), none of which would be delivered before 2020.

One has to wonder - if the F-16 is still so potent a weapon that it is first choice for foreign orders, why is the USAF retiring so many of them prematurely?

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