Magazine article National Defense

Upgrades to C-130 Hercules High on Romania's Wish List

Magazine article National Defense

Upgrades to C-130 Hercules High on Romania's Wish List

Article excerpt

Romanian's defense minister said his country plans to upgrade its fleet of Lockheed Martin C-130B transport aircraft, in hopes of providing strategic airlift support to North Atlantic Treaty Organization operations.

During a recent media breakfast in Washington, Ioan Mircea Pascu said that, as a new member of NATO, Romania plans to contribute niche military capabilities to the alliance, one of which is airlift.

The C-130 Hercules is a medium-lift cargo airplane widely used around the world.

Pascu said that his country had been greatly affected by the September 11 terrorist attacks. "Now we have war in the middle of the society," which means that it is necessary to "abandon strict territorial defense tactics," he said.

Strategic airlift is one of three emerging areas of specialization in Romania's military. The forces also are honing their skills in mountain operations and chemical-biological weapons defense, said Sorin Ducaru, Romania's ambassador to the United States.

"We are talking about how we can develop our strength in strategic airlift," Pascu said. Romania is the only country in the region that operates C-130s, he added.

Peter Simmons, a spokesman at Lockheed Martin's Aeronautics Division, confirmed that Romania is looking at options to upgrade its Hercules fleet. …

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