Romania shops for weapons in U.S.

The U.S. State Department has approved a possible sale worth $1.25bn (€1.06bn) to Romania for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and related support and equipment on the grounds that Romania “continues to be an important force for political stability and economic progress within Europe” and that the “proposed sale of the HIMARS system will support Romania’s needs for its own self-defence and support NATO defence goals,” and “will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

A missile launches from a HIMARS systems

Romania is one of just six NATO member states who will meet the NATO goal of spending 2% of its GDP on defence in 2017 and according to the U.S. State Department, the Central European nation will have no difficulty absorbing this system into its armed forces.

This procurement comes in the framework of the Romanian government’s plans to modernise the country’s armed forces, strengthen its homeland defence and deter regional threats. According to the U.S. State Department, “this will contribute to Romania’s military goal of updating its capabilities while further enhancing interoperability with the United States and other NATO allies.”

Bucharest wants 54 HIMARS launchers, 81 M31A1 Unitary Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (GMLRS), 81 M30A1 Alternative Warhead Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (GMLRS), 54 M57 Unitary Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS), 24 Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data Systems (AFATDS), 15 Utility Armoured M1151A1 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs) and 15 Armour Ready 2-Man M1151A1 HMMWVs.

Romania has also requested 54 5-ton, medium, tactical cargo vehicles with material handling equipment (M1084A1P2 HIMARS Resupply Vehicles), 54 M1095 MTV Cargo Trailer with RSV (resupply vehicle) kit, and 10 5-Ton medium tactical vehicle wreckers with winches (M1089A1P2 FMTV Wreckers), 30 Low-Cost Reduced Range (LCRR) practice rockets, support equipment, communications equipment, sensors, spare and repair parts, test sets, batteries, laptop computers, publications and technical data, facility design, training and training equipment, systems integration support, Quality Assurance Teams and a Technical Assistance Fielding Team, U.S. Government and contractor technical, engineering, and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics and program support.

The prime contractors will be Lockheed-Martin in Grand Prairie, Texas and Camden, Arkansas. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

Implementation of this proposed sale will require approximately the assignment of up to 10 U.S. Government or contractor representatives to travel to Romania for a period of up to one year for equipment de-processing/fielding, system checkout, training, and technical and logistics support.

The U.S. Congress now has to approve this potential military sale.