Elbit Systems announced on December 14 that it has been contracted by Romania’s Avioane Craiova to begin the first phase of the upgrade programme for the Romanian Air Force’s (RoAF’s) IAR-99 Standard trainer aircraft.
Work under the US$27m contract will be carried out over a four-year period, with Elbit Systems also providing additional integrated logistic support services. The Israeli-based company will also equip Romania’s IAR-99 Standard advanced jet trainer with advanced avionics systems and a live training embedded virtual avionics system, along with close air support and air-to-air capabilities. Elbit states that this “technology upgrade” is designed to allow RoAF pilots to effectively transition to advanced fighter aircraft, such as the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon.
Yoram Shmuely, general manager of Elbit Systems Aerospace, said: “We are honoured to provide continued support for the RoAF. This upgrade programme follows a range of technologies delivered by Elbit Systems to the RoAF in collaboration with Romanian companies, including large scale upgrades for various fixed-wing aircraft as well as the supply of advanced capabilities for rotary-wing aircraft.”
The RoAF has operated the indigenously-developed IAR-99 Standard in an advanced jet training role since 1990. Romania developed the training aircraft to replace its Aero L-29 Delfin and L-39ZA Albatros fleets, which were withdrawn from operational service in 2005 and 2007, respectively. AirForces Intelligence data states that the RoAF currently maintains a fleet of nine IAR-99 Standard aircraft, which supplements 11 modernised IAR-99C Şoim (Hawk) jet trainers.