This pertains to the first batch of aircraft of this type. If granted approval, the government in Bucharest will proceed to dispatch a formal Letter of Request to the United States. Upon its positive consideration, this action will pave the way for the signing of an intergovernmental Letter of Acceptance (LOA).
As pointed out by Romanian sources, given favorable conditions, the agreement could be signed in 2024, with implementation anticipated around 2032. The acquisition of the F-35A Lightning II represents another pivotal element in the modernization of the Romanian military aviation and is designated to supersede the currently utilized F-16AM/BM Fighting Falcon.
Presently, the Romanian Air Force possesses seventeen F-16AM/BM Fighting Falcon aircraft, originally procured from Portugal. Additionally, an acquisition of 32 units has been made from Norway, with deliveries projected to commence in the latter half of this year.
As per official statements, the allocated resources should enable their sustained operation for roughly ten more years. This timeline, in turn, provides the necessary window for the procurement and subsequent delivery of the initial F-35A Lightning II aircraft.