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Three more F-16s to arrive in Romania for training Ukrainian pilots

Three more F-16s to arrive in Romania for training Ukrainian pilots Illustrative photo (Getty Images)
Author: Daryna Vialko

Romania will receive three more F-16 fighter jets from the Royal Netherlands Air Force for training Ukrainian pilots, according to the press service of the Romanian Ministry of Defense.

The ministry announced that the Minister of National Defense of Romania, Angel Tilvar, will hold a bilateral meeting with his counterpart from the Netherlands, Kajsa Ollongren, on April 17 at the 86th Air Base "Lieutenant Aviator George Mociorniță" in Borcea.

"The activity is occasioned by the arrival of three more Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft, which will be made available to the European F-16 Training Center as part of pilot training programs for the operation of this type of fighter aircraft," the statement says.

An air base for training Ukrainian pilots

In November last year, Romania opened the European F-16 Training Center at the 86th Fătesti Air Base. At the time, it was stated that the airbase would be used to train Romanian and Ukrainian military personnel in F-16 flying.

Under the cooperation agreement between Romania and the Netherlands, the Romanian Ministry of Defense provided the base for training purposes, the Netherlands supplied the F-16 fighter jets, and Lockheed Martin provided instructors and maintenance.

The Netherlands and Denmark are coordinating European efforts to help Ukraine obtain F-16s.

F-16 for Ukraine

Last year, Ukraine's allies announced the creation of an aviation coalition to provide Ukraine with modern F-16 fighter jets. The coalition was led by the Netherlands and Denmark.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that Ukraine would receive at least 24 aircraft, possibly more, but not less.