The final F-16AM, serial 1615 (ex Portugal 15134), for the Forțele Aeriene ale României (FAR, Romanian Air Force) is planned to be delivered on 25 March 2021.
Last month, on 24 February, Indústria Aeronáutica de Portugal S.A. at Alverca (OGMA) delivered this F-16 painted in the Romanian Air Force camouflage to the Portuguese Air Force at Monte Real where final testing would take place and where the FAR-markings and tailnumber would be applied.
The fighter will depart Monte Real (Portugal) early in the morning towards Aviano air base (Italy), where it will make a short stop before continuing to it’s new home base, Borcea/Fetesti (Romania).
The FAR ordered their third-hand F-16s in two seperate batches in Portugal. In 2013, the Romanian government signed a contract with their counterparts in Portugal for the delivery of twelve F-16AM/BM Fighting Falcons. This batch was delivered between October 2016 and September 2017. In 2019, a second contract was signed for another five F-16AMs. Two were delivered in August 2020 and another two in October 2020.
With the final F-16 arriving on the 25 March, the deliveries have been completed and the FAR has now a proud inventory of seventeen Fighting Falcons, consisting of fourteen single seat and three dual seat aircraft. All F-16AM/BMs are operated by Escadrila 53 Vanatoare Warhawks / Baza 86 Aeriană at Borcea/Fetesti.
Overview of the Romanian Air Force Fighting Falcon fleet:
1601 ex 15121 d/d 04oct16 (M17-1/61-497)
1602 ex 15123 d/d 04oct16 (M17-4/61-534)
1603 ex 15124 d/d 04oct16 (M17-5/61-537)
1604 ex 15125 d/d 04oct16 (M17-6/61-541)
1605 ex 15126 d/d 15dec16 (M17-9/61-575)
1606 ex 15127 d/d 15dec16 (M17-10/61-592)
1607 ex 15128 d/d 29sep17 (M17-12/61-600)
1608 ex 15129 d/d 04oct16 (M17-13/61-610)
1609 ex 15130 d/d 29sep17 (M17-14/61-615)
1613 ex 15122 d/d 30oct20 (M17-2/61-511)
1614 ex 15132 d/d 14aug20 (M17-16/61-626)
1615 ex 15134 d/d planned 25mar21 (M17-18/61-630)
1616 ex 15135 d/d 14aug20 (M17-19/61-633)
1617 ex 15141 d/d 30oct20 (M17-8/61-658)
1610 ex 15137 d/d 04oct16 (M18-1/62-91)
1611 ex 15138 d/d 15dec16 (M18-2/62-117)
1612 ex 15139 d/d 29sep17 (M18-3/62-118)
For detailed information on the Romanian Air Order of Battle please visit here.
Photo: OGMA-Indústria Aeronáutica de Portugal SA