By Jaroslaw Adamowski
WARSAW: The Commission for Defense, Public Order and National Security in Romania’s Chamber of Deputies, the parliament’s lower chamber, has approved the National Defence Ministry’s request to allow the purchase of 54 used M1A2 Abrams SEPv3 tanks from the United States.
The envisioned purchase of 54 tanks along with accompanying gear and services is estimated to be worth about 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion), according to official documents obtained by local news site DefenseRomania.ro.
As Romania’s ruling tripartite coalition holds a large majority in both chambers, a relevant bill to authorize the acquisition is expected to be adopted by the parliament shortly.
Manufactured by General Dynamics Land Systems, the Abrams are to enable Romania’s land forces to replace some of their outdated Soviet-times tanks.
The development comes as the Romanian government is accelerating work on a number of procurements, including plans to buy new armored vehicles, missile systems, warships, 155-mm howitzers and the F-35 Lightning II fighter jet in the aftermath of Russia’s attack against Ukraine.
Owing to the planned purchase, Romania could become the second operator of the U.S.-made tank in Eastern Europe after the Polish government signed a deal worth some $4.75 billion to acquire 250 M1A2 Abrams SEPv3 tanks in April 2022. Last January, Poland’s Ministry of National Defence placed a second order, valued at about $1.4 billion, to buy 116 used M1A1 Abrams from the United States.