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Five Dutch F-16s sent to EFTC training center in Romania for Romanian and Ukrainian pilots.

| 2023

FiveDutch F-16 fighter aircraft are currently on their way to the European F-16 Training Center (EFTC) in Romania. The aircraft are intended to train Romanian and Ukrainian pilots.

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Five Dutch F 16s sent to EFTC training center in Romania for Romanian and Ukrainian pilots Dutch Air Force F-16 ready for departure  (Picture source: Netherlands MoD)

The Netherlands took the initiative to set up the EFTC and is making 12 to 18 F-16s available for this purpose. The fighter aircraft remain the property of the Netherlands. Together with Denmark and with support from the United States, the Netherlands is in charge of coordinating European efforts for F-16 capacity for Ukraine. It was previously announced that Lockheed Martin will provide training and maintenance for the aircraft.

The training center in Romania first uses the aircraft for a refresher course for the hired F-16 instructors. This is followed by the training of the pilots. Only flies in NATO airspace.

The F-16 training program for Ukrainian pilots involves the transfer of knowledge and skills necessary to operate and maintain the F-16 fighter aircraft. This training is essential for enhancing Ukraine's capabilities in air defense and combat operations against the Russian aggressor. It covers various aspects, including flight training, mission planning, and aircraft maintenance.

The provision of F-16 fighter aircraft and related assistance to Ukraine is part of a broader effort to support Ukraine's defense capabilities and enhance its resilience in the face of security challenges, particularly in the context of the Russian invasion.

The provision of F-16s is part of a broader effort by the international community to support Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. It sends a signal of solidarity with Ukraine in the face of ongoing security challenges in Eastern Ukraine and the broader region. This assistance is also aligned with NATO's commitment to assisting partner countries in enhancing their defense capabilities.

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