As geopolitical tensions continue to simmer in Eastern Europe, Romania emerges as a player in shaping the region’s defence landscape.

An analysis of Romania’s defence sector reveals a multifaceted approach, spanning budgetary surges, procurement strategies, and market dynamics.

In response to rising regional threats, Romania’s defence budget has surged, exceeding Nato targets and signalling a shift in priorities. According to GlobalData’s “Romania Defense Market 2024-2029” report, the country’s defence expenditure has surged by 53.3% since 2023, with a projected cumulative spend of $46.3bn (213.4bn lei) for 2025-2029. Notably, Romania consistently allocates over 3% of its GDP to defence spending, demonstrating a commitment to regional security.

A focus accompanies this surge in defence spending on modernisation efforts across all military branches. For the Romanian Army, investments are channelled towards replacing outdated equipment with modern platforms like the K9 Thunder artillery gun. Similarly, the Romanian Air Force prioritises the acquisition of aircraft such as the F-35A fighter jet, while the Navy focuses on modernising its naval vessels to enhance power projection capabilities in the Black Sea region.

Romania recently received US approval to acquire AIM-9X Sidewinder Block II missiles. The decision to equip Romania’s F-16 fleet with these air-to-air missiles comes amid heightened security concerns in the region. 

While defence spending is a cornerstone of Romania’s security strategy, the nation’s defence procurement ecosystem is equally important in enhancing its capabilities. From the Ministry of National Defense (MoND) to European funds and trade associations, Romania’s procurement processes are characterised by transparency, accountability, and collaboration.

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The MoND is the primary contracting authority, overseeing procurement strategies and resource allocation to align with capability demands. Parliamentary approval is sought for significant programmes, ensuring transparency and oversight. Additionally, Romania leverages European funds such as the European Defense Fund (EDF) and Nato funding schemes to catalyse research, innovation, and industrial development. Romania offers surveillance for NATO forces. 

Furthermore, EU directives and offset policies shape Romania’s defence market, fostering international cooperation and technology transfer. While political inertia and corruption persist, Romania remains committed to modernising its defence industry and bolstering its partnerships.