In this Wednesday, April 6, 2016 photo, ground crew prepares a Mig 21 fighter jet for a flight at the military airport Batajnica, near Belgrade, SerbiaInternationalIndiaAfricaCHISINAU (Sputnik) – Romania will officially decommission MiG-21 LanceR military aircraft on May 15 and replace it with US-made F-16s, the Romanian Ministry of National Defense said Tuesday. The ministry has decided to suspend the operation of MiG-21 LanceR aircraft from April 15 due to technical problems and replace them with F-16s. In May of 2022, the ministry expanded the lifespan of fighters for another year in order to perform air policing tasks and maintain pilot training. “May 15th will mark the last flights with MiG-21 LanceR aircraft of the Air Force. The MiG-21 watched over Romania’s skies for over six decades; the LanceR variant contributed to the defense of the Romanian and NATO airspace for over a quarter of a century,” the ministry said on Twitter. The press office of the ministry has earlier said that the increase in the country’s defense spending to 2.5% of GDP had created opportunities to modernize Romania’s army. Last June, Romania approved the purchase of 32 F-16 aircraft from Norway worth 454 million euros ($477.5 million). Romania Seeks to Buy 32 Old Norwegian F-16 Fighter Jets Replaced by F-35s24 December 2021, 05:18 GMTAt the moment, Romania has 17 F-16 aircraft in the M5.2R configuration, which will be modernized to the M6.6 configurations. In mid-April, the Romanian Supreme Council of National Defense decided it will purchase F-35 aircraft from the United States after 2030 to replace F-16s.