Romania has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with US-based defence contractor Raytheon for maintenance of Patriot missile defence systems, the country’s economy ministry said Wednesday.
According to the MoU signed by Romanian aircraft construction and repair company Aerostar on behalf of the economy ministry, stipulates transfer of technology and technical assistance necessary for the modernization and upgrading of existing equipment, as well as the provision of technical support for Patriot missile systems, Reuters reports.
"The MOU allows effective procedures to be launched during this year for the acquisition of the first Patriot system endowed by the Romanian Armed Forces, in accordance with the Plan of Endowment for 2017-2026 and in the context of Romania's commitments as a partner country in NATO's Eastern Flank and strategic partner in the relationship with the United States," the ministry said.
In July, the US State Department cleared the sale of seven Patriot air defence systems to Romania for an estimated $3.9 billion (3.42 billion euro).
The Patriot missiles would be part of an integrated air defence system comprising newly acquired F-16 fighter jets as Romania is bringing its forces up to NATO standards and retiring outdated communist-era MiGs, the report says.
A NATO member since 2004 and European Union member since 2007, Romania has committed to boost its defense spending to two percent of gross domestic product this year.
Patriot is a long-range, all-altitude, all-weather air defence system to counter tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and advanced aircraft.