In the past, the German Air Force has already supported the Air Policing mission in Romania. The deployment is seen as a response to the evolving security situation in Eastern Europe, particularly following recent incidents along the Romania-Ukraine border.
In September, Bucharest confirmed the discovery of drone fragments on Romanian territory near the Ukrainian border. These fragments were reportedly similar to those used by Russia in its attacks on Ukrainian ports along the Danube. As a countermeasure, Romania intensified civilian protection efforts in the Danube Delta and bolstered its military presence, including anti-aircraft units in the region.
In a show of allied support, the United States also dispatched four F-16 multirole fighters to Romania to patrol the airspace as part of the Air Policing mission. This deployment was announced in late September, demonstrating the solidarity among NATO members in the face of emerging threats.
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis spoke in late October about the strengthened radar systems along the border with Ukraine, enhancing the capability to detect low-flying objects. Following several instances of Russian drone fragments being found in Romanian territory, Bucharest extended the no-fly zone near the Ukraine border in the northern Dobruja area.
Media reports in September, citing military sources, stated that “all three drones that fell in the Tulcea district (in the Danube Delta) were of the Iranian Shahed model, used by Russia in attacks on Ukraine.” President Iohannis has condemned the shelling of Ukrainian infrastructure as a war crime, emphasizing the gravity of the situation, “Russian drones are not attacking Romania, but since their fragments are falling in Romania, it is a real problem; it is unacceptable.”
Romanian Defence Minister Angel Tilvar reassured that the fragments found in September were from drones shot down by Ukrainian air defence and that there was no indication of an intended attack on Romanian territory. NATO has also confirmed that there are no reports suggesting a deliberate attack by Russia.