Cross-Border Training: Ukrainian F-16 Pilots In Romania

Romania is creating on its territory a training center for pilots, in particular Ukrainians, of American F-16 fighters. The Netherlands and Denmark are also preparing to train pilots on their territory.
Romania announced Thursday the launch on its territory, with the help of allied countries, of a training center for pilots, including Ukrainians, of American F-16 fighters, which Ukraine says it needs to fight the Russian invasion.

“Romanian pilots of American F-16s will be trained here and the center will then be open to pilots from NATO allies and partners, including Ukraine,” added the same source.

Several countries are seeking to help Ukraine train its F-16 pilots after the green light given by the United States.

From Mig-21 to F-35

The head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell indicated at the end of May that Poland had already started to do so and that several countries were ready to supply Ukraine with these combat aircraft. The Netherlands hopes to be able to train Ukrainian F-16 pilots this summer, Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren said last month. Denmark is also preparing to train some on its territory

Romania separated in May from its Mig-21 LanceR fighter jets, inherited from the communist era, which are replaced by more modern American F-16s in a context of reinforcement of NATO’s eastern flank.

On the front line since the launch of the Russian offensive in neighboring Ukraine, Bucharest has redoubled its efforts in recent months to modernize its defense. Romania will now use 17 second-hand F-16s purchased from Portugal. It also signed a contract with Norway in November for 32 planes. A member of NATO since 2004, it covets the latest generation of American F-35 fighters, but it will probably take years for this expensive project to become a reality.

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