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50 Ukrainian pilots to train on F-16 jets in Romania

Romanian President has approved the transit of equipment donated by Finland to Ukraine and the training of 50 Ukrainian pilots on F-16 jets at the Fetești military base, with training expected to end by the year’s end.
A Danish Air Force F-16BM combat trainer aircraft during a training flight. Photo via mil.in.ua
50 Ukrainian pilots to train on F-16 jets in Romania

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis informed the Parliament in a letter that he approved the transit of equipment and material goods donated by Finland to Ukraine and the training of about 50 Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets, with the training to take place at the Fetești military base in southern Romania, according to Digi24.

Ukraine seeks F-16 fighter jets to counter Russia’s air superiority at the frontline, where Russian aircraft maintain an edge with longer-range capabilities despite Ukraine’s dense air defenses. The United States approved the transfer of F-16s from Denmark and the Netherlands last August, pending completion of pilot training. Training of Ukrainian pilots and ground personnel is ongoing, and Ukraine has yet to operate any F-16s.

The president’s notification letter was forwarde to the defense committees and will be put to a vote in the next joint plenary session’s agenda.

The President’s information has been forwarded to the defence committees and will be put to the vote on the agenda of the next joint plenary session.

The authorities have not said when the training will start, but Digi24 sources say the Ukrainian soldiers should arrive at the Fetești air base this summer. Training to fly the F-16s is expected to end at the end of the year.

Earlier, NYT noted that the new training center in Romania, created to teach Ukrainian pilots to fly the F-16 warplane, is ready with flight instructors and jets, but the pilots have yet to arrive, highlighting the confusion and chaos in NATO’s rush to supply F-16s and the uncertainty of when training will begin at the Fetesti air base.

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