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Netherlands sends three more F-16s to Romania for Ukrainian pilot training

Ukrainian pilots are set to begin training in Romania on these jets.
Romanian Defense Minister Angel Tilvar and his Dutch counterpart Kajsa Ollongren at the 86th Air Base in Borcea, Romania. Photo: Angel Tilvar in X/Twitter
Netherlands sends three more F-16s to Romania for Ukrainian pilot training

On 17 April, the Dutch Armed Forces delivered three additional F-16s to the European F-16 Training Center (EFTC) in Romania, which was established last year at the 86th Lieutenant Aviation George Mocorlat Air Base in Borcea. This transfer was marked by a meeting between Romanian Defense Minister Angel Tilvar and his Dutch counterpart Kajsa Ollongren.

The Netherlands, along with Denmark and the United States, is leading the international effort to bolster Ukraine’s air defense capabilities by providing F-16 fighter jets.

Ukrainian pilots are set to begin training at the EFTC in Romania to operate these aircraft in the near future, said Angel Tilvar.

“Just months after the F-16 Training Center opened, Romanian pilots are training, with plans to integrate Ukrainian pilots soon,” he wrote on X/Twitter.

Since November 2022, the Netherlands has supplied eight fighter jets to Romania, with a total commitment of 18 aircraft for training Ukrainian military personnel. Moreover, the Netherlands has pledged to deliver 24 F-16s directly to Ukraine for frontline use, expected to be handed over in the second half of 2023.

Ukrainian pilots are currently undergoing training to operate these aircraft, with the first F-16s from Western countries anticipated to arrive in Ukraine by the summer of 2023.

In March, it was reported that Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, and Belgium had collectively committed to sending approximately 45 fighter jets to Ukraine. Denmark has promised to send the first six F-16s by the end of spring, followed by an additional 13 by the end of the year and into 2025. The delivery dates for the other countries have yet to be determined.

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