State Department approves $3.9B missile defense sale to Romania

State Department approves $3.9B missile defense sale to Romania
© Raytheon Co.

The State Department announced Tuesday it had approved a possible $3.9 billion sale to NATO member Romania for Patriot air and missile defense systems.

The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency on Monday notified Congress of the foreign military sale for seven Raytheon-made Patriot systems, including 28 launching stations, 56 guidance enhanced missiles and 168 Patriot Advanced Capabilty-3 (PAC-3) missiles.

“Romania will use the Patriot missile system to strengthen its homeland defense and deter regional threats,” the agency said in the deal announcement.

“The proposed sale will increase the defensive capabilities of the Romanian military to guard against aggression and shield the NATO allies who often train and operate within Romania’s borders.”

Romanian officials in April said the country plans to use the Patriot missiles to help protect its airspace, as part of a plan to modernize its military. A U.S. ballistic missile defense station is already stationed in the nation south of Ukraine.

The sale is likely to draw the ire of Russia, which asserts that the missile defense systems in eastern Europe are a "great danger." Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country will be forced to enhance its own missile strike capability in response.