Romania recently increased its defence budget by 2.5% in the context of the border war provoked by Russia against Ukraine. A major armament programme to be launched this year by MApN is the purchase of infantry fighting vehicles.
Phase I of the programme envisages the purchase of 246 complete MLIs, including training simulators and initial logistical support. The phase will start in 2023 and run for nine years until 2031. The estimated value of procurement contracts in Phase I is €2.545 billion.
For Phase II, it is envisaged to procure 52 MLI completions for strategic and operational stockpiles, starting after 2031. The estimated value of procurement contracts in this phase is €450 million.
Ascod (IFV) with a 100% Romanian turret that can be converted into a medium tank
The Ascod combat machine presented in Madrid is armed with the same 30 mm gun turret produced entirely by the Israeli giant Elbit in Romania. The turret is also found on the 8x8 Piranha 5 armored vehicles that General Dynamics produces in our country in a joint venture with Uzina Mecanica București.
Moreover, the Ascodul can also integrate Spike anti-tank guided missiles, which are already in the Romanian Army.
The Ascod combat machine can be transformed into a medium combat tank with a slim silhouette and reduced weight by integrating a 120 millimetre gun. As a comparison, the Romanian-made TR-85M1 Bizonul main battle tank has a 100 millimetre calibre gun.
At the heart of the Ascodul presented in Madrid is a common platform through which numerous other derivative vehicles can be built, from technical vehicles to ambulances, mobile bridges, mortars and even medium combat tanks.
On the tank side, the Parliament gave the green light this week for the purchase of Abrams. The Ministry of National Defence asked the Parliament's leadership in early April for prior approval to purchase 54 upgraded Abrams tanks.
The cost of the programme to equip the 54 Abrams tanks and 12 "derivatives on tank chassis" will be €1 billion, according to documents seen by DefenseRomania.
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