The Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (NDMA) has expanded its contract with Kongsberg Aviation Maintenance Services covering the overhaul of 32 surplus Lockheed Martin F-16A/Bs sold to Romania.
Valued at more than NKr700 million ($64.6 million), the new deal “also includes technical assistance and support for the training of Romanian technical personnel”, the MRO provider says.
“The F-16 combat aircraft will be returned to operating status and then maintained so that they are ready for service again,” it adds.
Romania signed a €388 million contract in November 2022 to acquire the secondhand fighters from Oslo, with deliveries scheduled to begin before year-end. The jets are to be modernised to the M6.5.2 operating configuration as part of the acquisition.
“This [expanded] agreement is important to be able to carry out the sale of the F-16 combat aircraft to Romania,” says NDMA director general Gro Jaere. “The Norwegian F-16s are among the best maintained in the world, and central to this work has been the ongoing maintenance and upgrades that Kongsberg Aviation Maintenance Services delivers,” he adds.
“This agreement secures and further develops important national expertise in fighter aircraft maintenance in Norway, which in turn will be valuable for the support and maintenance of [Lockheed] F-35 aircraft in the future,” says Atle Wollo, president of Kongsberg Aviation Maintenance Services.
The Royal Norwegian Air Force retired the last of its F-16s in 2022, with Cirium fleets data showing the service as having so far received 38 replacement F-35As.