Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 09/17/2012 -- Romania stands in a strategically important position in Europe. The country is flanked by the former Soviet Union republics of Ukraine and Moldova. It also borders Hungary to the west, the former Yugoslavia to the south east and Bulgaria to the south west. In addition, Romania is now a member of NATO. This report examines the transition of Romania's defence posture as a former Warsaw Pact nation into an active participant in NATO. However, as the report will conclude, while Romania has aspirations to become a full and active NATO partner, the modernisation of the country's armed forces will be largely guided by the available funding that Bucharest has to invest in its armed forces.
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Romania is continuing its process of defence modernisation despite the financial challenges that the country is currently facing, as a result of the overall economic slump from the eurozone area. To this end, Romania is mid-way through its defence modernisation roadmap, which it expects to complete in circa 2015, although economic challenges could cause this date to be pushed back.
In order to complete the modernisation, a number of key procurement initiatives are planned, not least of which is the acquisition of new multirole combat aircraft to replace the ageing MiG-21A/B/C jets currently operated by the air force. A similarly important acquisition will be the purchase of new Surfaceto- Air Missiles (SAMs) to replace several antiquated Cold War-era systems, which remain in service with the army and air force. Although the new SAM systems have yet to be procured, the air defence of Romania has experienced some recent improvements with the activation of an Air Sovereignty Operations Centre (ASOC) to help defend the country's airspace, by integrating imagery delivered from military air surveillance and civil air traffic control radar systems. As regards other equipment, Romania will, in the future, need to launch the procurement of communications and battle management systems to equip its army-level brigade and above; although it has already made some important advances in terms of the revitalisation of its command and control capabilities via the implementation of the RIFS system (see below).
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