F-16 Fighter Jets Sent by the Netherlands for Ukrainian Pilot Training Reach Romania


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The Netherlands sent its first five F-16 fighter jets to Romania on Tuesday for use in training Ukrainian pilots, as reported by Reuters. The aircraft landed at the Fetești airbase, according to the Romanian Ministry of National Defence (MApN).

The Netherlands will deliver between 12 and 18 F-16 aircraft from its air force to be used in the new European pilot training center in Romania, set to open soon, announced the Ministry of Defense in The Hague on Tuesday.

These aircraft will serve the European F-16 Training Center (EFTC), established as a result of the collaboration between the Romanian Ministry of National Defense through the Romanian Air Force and the Dutch Ministry of Defense through the Royal Netherlands Air Force, in partnership with Lockheed Martin and with the support of the Kingdom of Denmark, the coordinating state alongside the Netherlands in the international F-16 coalition.

The center will be an international hub for the training of F-16 aircraft pilots and will facilitate increased interoperability among allies. Furthermore, it will contribute to establishing common operational standards and strengthening the capacity of the North Atlantic Alliance to address complex challenges in the Black Sea region and Eastern Europe. According to the collaboration agreement, the Romanian Ministry of Defense provides the 86th Air Base, training facilities, and host-nation support, the Royal Netherlands Air Force provides the F-16 aircraft, and Lockheed Martin supplies the instructors and maintenance.

EFTC will accelerate the training process for Romanian pilots, as the Romanian Armed Forces prepare to receive 32 F-16 aircraft recently acquired from Norway.

Considering the current geopolitical context and Romania’s strategic position in the Black Sea region, this center becomes essential for cross-border cooperation, strengthening security, and reinforcing solidarity within NATO. By establishing the European F-16 Training Center, Romania commits to offering a high-quality training environment, access to cutting-edge technical resources and know-how, not only for Romanian pilots but also for those from allied and partner states, including Ukraine,” the Romanian Defence Ministry says.

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