Romanian Pilot Performs Maiden Flight at European F-16 Training Center

Inaugural Flight Conducted in Collaboration with Royal Netherlands Air Forces and Lockheed Martin Instructor
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 06:10 AM, January 20, 2024
  • 690
Romanian Pilot Performs Maiden Flight at European F-16 Training Center
First flight of Romanian pilot at the European F-16 Training Center in Romania

A Romanian pilot, trained within the European F-16 Training Center (EFTC), conducted the first flight with an F-16 aircraft provided by the Royal Netherlands Air Forces on January 15.

This was announced by the Romanian defense ministry on Thursday.

The pilot was accompanied by an instructor from Lockheed Martin. Currently, seven Romanian pilots are undergoing theoretical and practical training at the EFTC. Training includes utilization of the F-16 simulator of the Romanian Air Force, with the goal of achieving the "Mission Ready" level.

The EFTC, located at the 86th "Lieutenant Aviator Gheorghe Mociorniță" Air Base in Fetești, serves as an international hub for F-16 pilot training. The initiative aims to enhance interoperability among allies and create common operational standards. The Romanian Ministry of Defence provides training facilities and host nation support, the Royal Netherlands Air Force supplies the F-16 aircraft, and Lockheed Martin contributes instructors and maintenance. Currently, Romanian pilots are the sole participants in the training at the EFTC.

Romanian Pilot Performs Maiden Flight at European F-16 Training Center
First flight of Romanian pilot at the European F-16 Training Center in Romania

In November 2023, the Fetești Air Base inaugurated the first European F-16 Training Center. Lockheed Martin, along with subcontractors Daedalus Aviation Group, Draken International, GFD (a subsidiary of Airbus Defence and Space), and ILIAS Solutions, collaborates to provide F-16 training. The team is responsible for organizing, scheduling, operating, and maintaining F-16 fighter jets provided by the Royal Netherlands Air Force. The focus extends beyond pilot training to ensure the effectiveness and safety of Romanian pilots operating F-16s.

The collaboration agreement aims to standardize operational practices and strengthen capabilities within the North Atlantic Alliance, specifically addressing challenges in the Black Sea region and Eastern Europe. The RNLAF will continue to own the aircraft and maintain sovereign rights under the agreement.

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