US$2.7 billion project to ramp up Romanian air base

Construction work has started on a €2.5 billion (US$2.7 billion) project to turn a Romanian air base into the largest NATO military installation in Europe.

An Italian Air Force jet fighter at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, Romania An Italian Air Force jet fighter at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, Romania. Photo: by Nicolas Messyasz/Pool/ABACAPRESS.COM - Reuters

Once completed, the expanded 57th Romanian Air Base at Mihail Kogălniceanu will have an area of almost 3,000 hectares (7,400 acres), with a total perimeter stretching 30km (18.6 miles).

The upgraded facility will include maintenance hangars, fuel depots, ammunition storage, equipment facilities, aviation technical resources, simulators, dining facilities and accommodation.

The expansion project is designed to accommodate a permanent contingent of up to 10,000 NATO soldiers along with their families.

As well as new runways and military aircraft hangars, the base is expected to house schools, kindergartens, shops and a hospital.

Romania as a strategic hub

The expansion of Air Base 57 follows upgrades to a number of air bases in Romania, with the country emerging as a strategic focal point for both the US and NATO, who are aiming to bolster operational capacities in the region.

The base’s commander, Nicolae Crețu, said the construction project would ensure that base has, “the necessary infrastructure to be able to host and support ground capabilities, for special operations or any other type of military capability which is necessary to provide a response in the current security context.”


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