Romanian military has lost 1 helicopter and 1 fighter jet on Wednesday. The IAR 330 Puma helicopter lost contact with radar when it was searching for a MiG-21 Lancer of the Romanian Air Force.
As per the Romanian Ministry of Defense, “An IAR 330 Puma helicopter was crashed in the area of Gura Dobrogei, with 7 army personnel on board. All died in the tragic accident.”
Before that, Romanian Air Force lost contact with a MiG-21 assigned to the 861st Combat Aviation Squadron. After that, the wreckage of the lost MiG-21 was also found. In that accident, Captain Costinel Iosif Niță lost his life. Romanian MOD has stated that “The killed pilot had accumulated over 570 flight hours, of which approximately 420 on the LanceR MiG-21.”
Al Jazeera reported that, “Yesterday, military and religious commemoration ceremonies for the victims will be held in all Romanian military units.”
President Klaus Iohannis in a statement on Wednesday evening sent his “thoughts to the bereaved families” of the crash victims on what he called “a tragic night for Romanian aviation”.
Currently, Romanian Air Force is operating 2 Squadrons of MiG-21 and 1 squadron of F-16 fighting falcons. Meanwhile, Romania is operating two squadrons of IAR 330 L/M and one squadron of IAR-330 SOCAT Puma.
Umair Aslam is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Global Defense Insight. He has worked as a defense journalist reporting on military modernization programs, defense industry, arms procurement, and emerging technologies.