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First F-16s Despatched to Romania to Prepare Ukrainian Pilots: Dutch

The Netherlands on Tuesday despatched its first 5 F-16 fighter jets to a Romanian air base the place the planes will likely be used to coach Ukrainian and Romanian pilots, the Dutch protection ministry stated.

America in August authorised the switch of Dutch and Danish US-made warplanes to Ukraine to strengthen Kyiv’s Soviet-era air pressure in its struggle in opposition to Russia.

Nonetheless, “the planes will solely fly in NATO air house” the ministry stated in an announcement.

“The Romanian coaching centre will first use the planes for a refresher course for employed instructors. This will likely be adopted pilot coaching,” it stated.

The planes will likely be maintained by its US-based producer Lockheed Martin, who will even present the coaching.

In complete, the Netherlands will make 12 to 18 F-16s out there for coaching functions.

In the meantime, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday urged Ukraine’s allies to offer his navy with long-range missiles and fighter jets to interrupt an deadlock on the entrance line.