Update: Defence committee in the Romanian Senate Oks Patriot system acquisition. When will the first missile system be bought?


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The Defence committee in the Romanian Senate (the Parliament’s upper chamber) has unanimously adopted on Monday the draft Okaying the Patriot defence system acquisition.

Defence Minister Mihai Fifor announced that Romania would buy the first Patriot system in the second half of 2019 and it would become operational as of 2020.

We discuss about this draft law (on the Patriot acquisition) within the strategic partnership between Romania and the USA. It’s a collective effort that places Romania in a select club of the European and world defence through this acquisition of the Patriot system. It’s just the first step for the Romanian Army, as we buy the first system out of seven this year,” Defence minister Mihai Fifor told the senators of the Defence committee.

The Defence minister added that the government would come up with other draft laws in the upcoming period referring to the acquisition of other equipment.

We have received the US Government’s letter for the acquisition of seven Patriot systems, configuration 3+. Afferent equipment, replacements, maintenance equipment will add to these systems, as well as training services and the initial logistics support package. The system is to become operational as of 2020 and it practically opens the large endowment programmes for the Romanian Army,” the minister explained.

Asked when the first Patriot system will be practically purchased, Minister Fifor said: “The first system will come in force in 2020, so somewhere in the second half of 2019 the first system will be acquired.

He added though that complicated financial procedure lie ahead once the draft law is promulgated

Tomorrow after the Chamber of Deputies also passed the draft law, we could say we are in a bee-line. I want to tell you that there will be complicated financial procedures after that, after the draft law is promulgated (…) We were interested in ending the year with the Ok for the acquisition,” DefMin added.

At the same time, the head of the General Staff, general Nicolae Ciuca told the defence committee that the Patriot system allows the integration and countering of the air threats outside the country’s borders.

It allows the planning of the air defence strategy on long term, as the hardware and software parts can be upgraded. It also enables an integrated operational planning according to the needs of the air and land forces,” Ciuca said.

Ruling party chairman Liviu Dragnea denied several days ago the PNL and USR accusations that the governing parties are trying to delay the acquisition of Patriot missiles, arguing hat PSD and ALDE senators, members of the defence committee, who missed the sitting expected to debate the draft law on the acquisition of Patriot missiles, attended another event.


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