BORCEA, Romania (Reuters) - Romania received its first six F-16 fighter jets from Portugal on Friday, as it works to bring its obsolete forces up to NATO standards and phases out its outdated communist-era MiGs.
The F-16 Fighting Falcons are part of a batch of 12 units supplied by Portuguese Air Force to Romania, a staunch Washington ally and NATO member since 2004, and a participant in military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"This acquisition of a first batch of high-performance multirole planes represents a major investment supporting an increase in our country's defense capability," Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos said at the 86th Air Base Lieutenant Aviator Gheorghe Mociornita, near the Danube river.
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Portugal will supply three more jets by the end of the year and the rest in 2017.
(Reporting by Radu Marinas and Sinisa Dragin; Editing by Hugh Lawson)