Romanian and Israeli defence companies ink cooperation agreement

  • Mihai Turcanu
  • 21.5.2018 09:56

On 17 May, at the Black Sea Defense & Aerospace 2018 exhibition in Bucharest, Romanian aerospace manufacturer Romaero signed an agreement with Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems for joint production of air defence and other weapons systems which the two partners hope to fit in the array of Romania's arms procurement programs.

The agreement stipulates the joint development of a sea-borne version of the Iron Dome short-range missile defence system for the expanding Romanian navy, Samson 30 mm remote control weapons system for the 8x8 armoured personnel carriers manufactured by Rheinmetall locally, as well as Spike long-range and extended-range anti-tank guided missiles. Additionally, Romania’s 227 Piranha V armoured vehicles will be equipped by another Israeli defence company, ELBIT, with UT-30 turrets with a 30 mm cannon. The implementation of the Iron Dome system for the Romanian Navy in particular, coupled with the purchased Patriot air defence system and the US Deveselu anti-missile shield will reinforce Romania's air defence capabilities. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but the agreement itself comes shortly after a late April visit by Romania's Prime-Minister, Viorica Dăncilă in Israel, at a time when the ruling coalition in Bucharest considers relocating the country's embassy to Jerusalem. At the 16 May EU leaders informal meeting on the eve EU-Western Balkans summit in Sofia, Romania's president  Klaus Iohannis showed support for the EU position on the US  unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA, in spite of the previously expressed view by Liviu Dragnea, the leader of the Social-Democrat - Liberal-Democrat coalition, that the situation is not contradicting Romania's national interests, but on the contrary, is an opportunity to strengthen ties with the main guarantor of its security - the US.

About author: Mihai Turcanu

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