Romania, Netherlands agree to establish training center for Ukrainian F-16 pilots
Romania and the Netherlands have signed a letter of intent to establish a training center for F-16 pilots and related maintenance of fighter jets
Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren reported the information, Ukrinform reports.
She mentioned that, during the informal Council of Defense Ministers, they would initiate discussions with Ukraine. She emphasized the significance of the Netherlands continuing to exhibit their solidarity and backing for Ukraine in its struggle against Russian aggression. She informed that a letter of intent had been signed between the Netherlands and Romania the previous day, outlining plans for F-16 training and maintenance at a center in Romania.
The Dutch defense minister added that this constitutes a tangible measure to bolster Ukraine's air defense, involving two European countries, and assuredly encompassing all European nations within the F-16 coalition.
F-16 fighter jets for Ukraine
On May 21, US President Joe Biden approved the training of Ukrainians on F-16s. Volodymyr Zelenskyy assured that Ukraine would not use these aircraft to strike at Russian territory. Ukraine’s Defense Ministry adviser Yuriy Sak said that Ukraine hopes to receive the first modern American F-16 fighter jets in the fall of 2023.
In July, Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that the first F-16 fighter jets are likely to fly in Ukraine's skies by the end of March 2024.
On August 17, the US approved the delivery of F-16 multi-role fighter jets to Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Denmark said it would supply Ukraine with 19 aircraft, provided they are not used on Russian territory. The first group of pilots has already begun training on F-16s in Denmark.
The Netherlands will provide Ukraine with 42 fighter jets. Norway will also provide Ukraine with F-16s, but their number is still unknown.