On 9 November, Ukraine’s Air Force spokesman Yurii Ihnat said that Ukrainian pilots have not yet started training on F-16 fighter jets in Romania. He said it on the national telethon, according to Liga.
Ihnat says there is no pilot training in Romania yet, but combat aircraft have been redeployed there to set up a training center.
“This does not mean that the pilots are already training there. The training takes place in the United States and [elsewhere] Europe. In Romania, a center is being set up where pilots will be able to undergo the training. The training combat aircraft are two-seaters, where the instructor will be able to train the pilot midair, which will be the final stage of training,” Ihnat said.
He noted that the Netherlands and other countries providing Ukraine with F-16s want to receive a more modern F-35 aircraft instead.
- On 30 August 2023, the defense ministers of the Netherlands and Romania signed an agreement to establish a training center to train Ukrainian pilots on F-16s.
- On 30 October, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced that the first F-16s would be sent to Romania “within two weeks.” On 7 November, five F-16 fighters of the Dutch Air Force were transferred to Romania.
- On 20 August 2023, Denmark announced it would give Ukraine 19 aircraft, and the Netherlands an unknown number of the F-16s. In September, Norway promised to send its F-16s to Ukraine, and in October, Belgium pledged to supply “several” F-16s.
- Ukraine should use the F-16s only on its territory, not in Russia, which is a condition of the transfer of these aircraft.