Romania has officially retired its remaining Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 fighters as it accelerates the replacement of the Soviet-era type.
Bucharest in 2022 set the out-of-service date for the MiG-21 fleet following a fatal accident involving the type. It is replacing them with second-hand Lockheed Martin F-16s acquired from Norway.
FlightGlobal’s latest World Air Forces directory listed the Romanian air force as operating 16 MiG-21s as of November 2022.
Cirium fleets data records Romania’s MiG-21s as a little under 50 years old.
The retirement leaves Croatia as the solitary MiG-21 operator in Europe. Including Romania’s inventory, 336 examples are still in active use globally, Cirium details.
In November last year, Romania’s defence ministry signed a €388 million ($421 million) contract to acquire 32 surplus F-16A/Bs from Norway, with the jets to be transferred from late 2023.