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Romanian Navy to field Marte ER missile from ASuW-capable H215M helicopters

A subscale model of the Marte ER anti-shipping missile that will equip the Romanian Naval Forces' H215M helicopters. (Janes/Vinod Kumar CV)

Romania is to carry the MBDA Marte Extended Range (ER) anti-ship missile from its soon-to-be-received Airbus H215M helicopters.

The European missile house said on 23 May that it had signed a contract with IAR Brasov to support the integration of the Marte ER onto Romanian Naval Forces H215M helicopters.

News of the contract came months after Airbus Helicopters confirmed to Janes in January that it would supply the Romanian Naval Forces with a pair of H215M helicopters, as per a European Union (EU) notification posted at the time.

“We can confirm that our partner IAR has signed a contract with the Romanian Navy for the H215M, but we have not signed the contract yet on our side with IAR. Negotiations are ongoing,” Airbus Helicopters told Janes on 30 January. While there has been no subsequent contract notification, the MBDA announcement indicates that this sale has now been finalised.

The Romanian Ministry of National Defence (MND) requested the country's parliament to approve the H215M procurement in October 2022. Romania had previously said it would acquire the type, though this deal was never finalised. As noted by Janes World Navies , Romania currently fields two IAR 330 Puma helicopters that it received in 2007. These are used for anti-surface warfare (ASuW), as well as anti-submarine warfare, transport, special forces support, surveillance, and search and rescue. The transfer and upgrade of additional helicopters from the air force are expected, with up to eight required. It is unclear if the two new H215M helicopters will replace or augment any of the existing fleet.

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