Ukrainian F-16 Pilots to be Trained in Romania
The training centre will initially be used to train Romanian pilots. However, the first students will be Ukrainians, as the centre will eventually be used to train Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16s.
Although no details were given regarding its location, the Romanian Ministry of Defence reported that the new training centre will be established at Baza 86 Aeriana Fetesti.
The airbase hosts a squadron of Romanian Air Force (Fortele Aeriene ale Romaniei /FAR) F-16 AM/BM Fighting Falcon.
FAR currently operates 17 F-16 AM/BM fighters, and 32 former 32 Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF) aircraft are on order.
On November 4 2022, the Norwegian Defence Materials Agency (NDMA) signed a contract with FAR to sell the F-16 AM/BM. Then, on June 30, 2023, the US Department of State approved the possible sale.
Lockheed Martin stated that aircrews from the Netherlands and Romania train with Lockheed Martin F-16 simulators. The training centre will support readiness through affordable, efficient ground and flight training missions.
Starting this month, several Ukrainian pilots received language training in the UK and US before the F-16 training program at Morris Air National Guard Base, Tucson (AZ).