Five F-16 Fighter Jets Depart The Netherlands for Ukraine Air Force

In a significant development of the Russia - Ukraine conflict, the Netherlands has dispatched five F-16 fighter jets to Romania to commence training for Ukrainian pilots. The aircraft arrived at Fetesti Air Base in southeast Romania and will be utilized at the European F-16 training center. This move is part of a broader initiative by the Netherlands and Denmark to provide Ukraine with F-16 capabilities. The U.S. defense company Lockheed Martin will offer training support and assist in maintaining the aircraft.


The Dutch government has committed to making 12-18 F-16s available for training purposes. These aircraft will remain the property of the Netherlands and will solely operate within NATO airspace. The F-16 instructors will use these jets for a refresher course before training Romanian and Ukrainian pilots.


The Netherlands has also set an objective to teach Ukrainian personnel how to maintain F-16s. The Dutch government announced in August that training had already begun in the U.K. and Denmark. The Netherlands is in the process of replacing its fleet of F-16s with a total of 52 F-35 jets, with the last flight of the F-16 planned for 2024. 

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As of September 2023, 33 of the F-35 aircraft have been delivered and are operational. This initiative is a significant step towards bolstering Ukraine's air defense capabilities and marks a milestone in international cooperation in the face of shared security challenges.

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