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Romania passes state budget, increases defence spending

Romanian defence budget 2012–32 (Janes)

Romania's president Klaus Iohannis passed the State Budget for 2022 on 28 December, a week after the Parliament gave its approval.

The budget includes RON25.9 billion (USD6 billion) for defence, a 14% nominal increase on 2021 that equates to a real-term rise of 11.2%. The budget maintains defence spending as a percentage of GDP at just over NATO's 2% benchmark, a figure that Romania has been reaching since 2017. To achieve this, defence had a real-term yearly growth rate of 8% between 2017 and 2022, making the 2022 budget 55% higher than in 2016.

Procurement has also been pushed upwards, both in real terms and as a percentage of the total budget. Capital expenditure tripled between 2015 and 2017, reaching RON6.5 billion that year. It has since increased to RON8.6 billion in 2022 and official projections suggest it will reach RON14 billion by 2025. As a percentage of the budget, this is a move from 15% in 2015 to 32% in 2022 and is projected to reach 41% in 2025, exceeding the 20% NATO target.

Romania's defence investment has recently focused on air and air-defence programmes. Earlier this month, Romanian Defence Minister Vasile Dîncu said that Bucharest is looking to acquire 32 Royal Norwegian Air Force F-16 aircraft to supplement its existing fleet of 17 refurbished F-16AM/BMs. Romania is also acquiring the Patriot air-defence missile system and the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) from the United States. Another ongoing programme is the modernisation of the IAR-99 fleet, and an integrated SHORAD/VSHORAD capability is to be funded between 2022 and 2025, according to the defence budget.

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