NATO Prepares “F-16” Training Program for Ukrainians

by Meifan Honcharuk
Wednesday, June 22, 2023
NATO Prepares “F-16” Training Program for Ukrainians

Romania may become a platform for exercises as an essential unit in protecting the airspace of the European NATO

On June 21, Politico published material indicating that NATO is likely planning to train Ukrainian specialists to fly the F-16. The resource refers to 3 NATO officials (one of them is former), who were given the right to comment anonymously on this issue.

The country most likely to launch the training will be Romania, which plays an important role in protecting European airspace, which Russian planes routinely infiltrate without authorisation.

Today, the Romanian Air Force has 17 F-16s units and another 32 F-35s are planned for purchase. Participants of the European Fighter coalition (Denmark, the Netherlands, Great Britain, the USA, Portugal, Norway and Belgium) have not yet named the states that will provide their fighters for training. The delivery of the F-16 to Europe for exercises has not yet been discussed.

At the same time, the manufacturer of the F-16, Lockheed Martin, said that it is ready to produce new F-16s to replace those that will go to Ukraine and to take part in training Ukrainians in the art of piloting this fighter.

The US Department of defence, as well as European officials, did not confirm or deny information about the upcoming project. However, on June 21, the MoD wrote in an email to Politico that it welcomes the initiative to establish a coalition of NATO Allies to provide training of pilots for F-16s."

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