BUCHAREST, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- Romania's Chambers of Deputies adopted a bill on Tuesday for the purchase of seven Patriot missile defense systems from the United States.
The lower house of parliament adopted the army endowment bill with 279 votes in favour, one against, and one abstention, paving the way for seven Patriot surface-to-air missile systems to be purchased.
Now that the bill has passed, the next step is for the Bucharest authorities to sign the contract with the United States, which is most likely to happen before Dec. 1, according to defence minister Mihai Fifor.
The acquisition, worth up to 3.9 billion U.S. dollars, will include seven Patriot Configuration 3+ units, complete with radars, control station, antenna, launching stations and power plants.
The systems will provide protection from aggressive air attacks not only for Romania, but will also contribute to the defense of Romania's neighbors and the NATO alliance as a whole, U.S. Ambassador in Bucharest Hans Klemm was quoted as saying in July when the U.S. Department of State approved the possible sale.
The Patriot Missile System has an estimated life of 30 years, according to sources of the defence ministry.
The short and medium-range surface-to-air missile systems currently used by Romania are largely obsolete, as most of them were made in the former Soviet Union, and technical operating resources are almost overused and their chances for upgrading are unsustainable.