The Netherlands is set to lend F-16 fighter jets to aid in Ukraine’s F-16 training in Romania.
Putting pen to paper in Madrid on August 30, Netherlands Minister of Defence Kajsa Ollongren, together with her Romanian counterpart Angel Tîlvăr and Lockheed Martin's Filippo Marchetti, signed this decision.
F-16 training for Ukrainian pilots will be conducted in Denmark and Romania, with the anticipation that the initial group of Ukrainian F-16 pilots will conclude their training by early 2024.
The United States, giving the green light for the plan, is fully on board with supplying the F-16s, granting third-party transfer authorization for the Romanian training center.
With Dutch F-16 flight training previously occurring in the United States, current capacity constraints and the transition to F-35s led to the discontinuation of this training last summer. Now, as the Netherlands gears up for the complete transition to F-35s by 2024, Lockheed Martin will be tasked with jointly operating and maintaining the aircraft with Romania, all in line with Dutch military aviation standards and European regulations, while also providing the necessary training.