The Romanian air force has awarded an Israeli-Romanian industry team a $43 million contract to upgrade a further eight of its IAR-99 Soim lead-in trainers. The work, to be complete by mid-2008, will be conducted by Elbit Systems and Avioane Craiova.

Elbit will supply a new avionics package and a combat training system, which will enable Romanian pilots to transition on to the country's MiG-21 Lancer and future fighter types. The contract follows a 2001 award, under which an initial four IAR-99s have been modernised and returned to frontline use.

Source: Flight International