NATO member Romania has expressed its interest in the US Patriot surface-to-air missile (SAM) system to modernize its military, benefiting from a gradual increase in annual spending.
European Union country’s defense budget was 1.7 percent of its gross domestic product in 2016 and was increased at 2.0 percent this year - in compliance with the NATO defense spending standard.
Patriot missile developer Raytheon confirmed Thursday in a statement sent to Defense News: “Romania has announced their intent to enhance their defensive capability by procuring Patriot”.
According to various other media reports, this program is intended to begin this year. "The Patriot missile defense system is part of the multilevel air defense system of Romania's airspace. We're assessing all options to develop this [acquisition] program," General Nicolae-Ionel Ciuca, chief of the General Staff, was quoted as saying in various media reports. "It is important to say the program will start this year," General added.
The size of the planned acquisition and the budget for it are still unknown.
According to a Reuters report, the Patriot systems would be part of an integrated air defense system that includes six F-16 fighter jets Romania recently procured