The legislative project for the acquisition of HIMARS rocket systems and the Governmental Decision for four multifunctional corvettes will be up for approval in the next cabinet meeting, according to Defense minister Mihai Fifor.

Fifor added that Romania will make a payment of around USD 1 billion by February 28 for the first HIMARS rocket system.

The US Embassy notified the Defense Ministry (MApN) in September 2016 that Romania’s request to acquire High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) obtained the approval for the US Congress.

In the HIMARS endowment programme, Romania sought to acquire 54 launching installations and auxiliary elements to equip three fighting battalions.

The Defense Ministry stated that the programme is in an intermediary stage, and technical discussions and negotiations will take place in order to establish the final configuration of the acquisition and the technological transfer options, as well as the involvement of the national defense industry in the supply of equipment needed for production and maintenance.

The option for endowing the Romanian Army with the HIMARS system derives from the need of ensuring modern artillery equipment which will contribute to the improvement of defense capabilities for the national territory and the increase of the rate of interoperability with allied armies by supplying credible deterrent capabilities.

The institution adds that the acquisition of the HIMARS system is part of the eight essential endowment programmes provided for in the Plan for endowing the Romanian Army 2017-2026, which was approved by the parliament.

The reliability rate of HIMARS and the interoperability rate between the US and allied forces reduce the final operational and maintenance costs.

HIMARS is the second system to receive the approval of Congress, after seven HSAM Patriot rocket systems went through the same procedure last month.