Romania has announced plans to purchase 36 F-16 fighter aircraft and High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems by 2022, Defense News reported Thursday.
“These acquisitions are in the interest of safeguarding the security needs of Romania, but also to respect the government’s commitments in relation to NATO’s structures,” said Adrian Tutuianu, Romania’s defense minister.
The European country’s Supreme Council of National Defense also announced the plan to buy missile launchers, armored vehicles and other weapon systems as part of a military procurement plan between 2017 and 2026.
Reuters also reported that Romania would spend approximately $11.6 billion on the acquisition of military equipment over the next nine years under the plan.
The military procurement plan is part of the country’s efforts to increase its annual defense spending from 1.7 percent in 2016 to 2 percent of its gross domestic product this year through 2026 as a NATO member state.
The announcements came nearly a month after the State Department cleared Romania’s request to buy Patriot air defense systems and related equipment under a potential $3.9 billion foreign military sales agreement.