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Romania to finance training of Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets at Fetesti air base

The costs will cover the pilots’ accommodation and meals, their transportation, fuel consumed during the training, provision of special equipment, and other related goods and services.
f-16 jets
F-16BM combat trainer aircraft from the 322nd Squadron of the Royal Netherlands Credit: Militarnyi
Romania to finance training of Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets at Fetesti air base

The Romanian publication Profit reported that the Romanian state budget will cover the costs of training Ukrainian pilots on F-16 aircraft at the Fetesti military air base.

The Romanian publication reports that Romania will use funds from the defense ministry’s budget to cover expenses related to the presence of Ukrainian pilots and technical personnel at the Fetesti air base for F-16 training.

This includes costs for accommodation, food, transportation, fuel consumed during training, provision of special equipment, and other related goods and services.

The document does not provide an estimate of the training costs. It also states that additional funding is not required beyond the already allocated funds.

Romania’s Ministry of Defense document states, “Given the sensitive nature of the works and services to be procured under the contract, as well as the confidential nature of the activities related to the training of Ukrainian personnel, the legislation governing public procurement cannot be applied.”

In November 2023, an F-16 training center was opened at the Fetesti air base. There, Ukrainian and Romanian pilots will receive training.

The center was established in collaboration with other allies and Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of these American fighter jets. It meets the requirements for training pilots from NATO countries.

In addition to Romania, Ukrainian pilots are undergoing training in the United States, Denmark, France, and the United Kingdom. This distribution is related to the progressive nature of these training programs.

Ukrainian cadets study theoretical material in the United Kingdom and conduct their first flights to obtain basic flight training. In France, pilots undergo more advanced training on the Alpha Jet trainer aircraft, allowing them to accumulate the required number of flight hours and become more accustomed to controlling aircraft at higher speeds and larger sizes.

In the United States, Denmark, and Romania, pilots receive direct training on F-16 fighter jets and hone their skills in operating them.

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