Romania has received its first shipment of the U.S. Patriot surface-to-air missile system.
The shipment this month was part of a $3.9 billion foreign military sale that will boost Romania’s defensive capabilities and their military modernization plans.
The Patriot and other high-dollar FMS purchases, like the U.S.-made HIMARS and F-16 fighter jets, also puts Romania in line to satisfy its promise to increase military spending to 2% of its GDP by 2024, the minimum amount required of NATO members.
“The Patriot case is significant for Romania, and also for the U.S. and our NATO allies,” Jordan Brock, the country program manager for Romania at Security Assistance Command, said. “For every partner nation that uses Patriot, global interoperability increases. The U.S. and now Romania, and every ally that employs Patriot can train together and, if and when needed, can seamlessly operate as allied nations on the battlefield.”
According to Patriot manufacturer Raytheon Missiles and Defense, more than 240 Patriot fire units have been built and delivered to customers in 17 nations. Raytheon says since it was first fielded, the Patriot has been used by five nations in more than 250 combat engagements against manned and unmanned aircraft, cruise missiles and tactical ballistic missiles. Since January 2015, it has intercepted more than 150 ballistic missiles in combat operations around the world.
Brock, who manages the sale between the U.S. and Romania, said the FMS case includes seven Patriot units, missiles, launching stations, spare parts and training – all part of USASAC’s “total package” business model.
Along with the multibillion dollar F-16 and HIMARS cases, Brock said the Patriot purchase is a significant step in the Easter European ally’s plan to phase out obsolete military equipment, meet NATO standards and stabilize that region of the world.
One of America’s staunchest allies, Romania hosts more than 100 American sailors and Navy contractors on a constant, rotational basis, is home to a U.S. ballistic missile defense station and contributes combat troops to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.