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Ukrainian Pilots Train with NATO F-16 Fighter Jets in Denmark

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Ukrainian Pilots Train with NATO F-16 Fighter Jets in Denmark

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Ukrainian Pilots Train with NATO F-16 Fighter Jets in Denmark
Ukrainian Pilots Train with NATO F-16 Fighter Jets in Denmark

At an airbase in Denmark, the Danish Air Force has been training the next generation of Ukrainian fighter pilots to fly the F-16 Fighting Falcon. A coalition of NATO Allies, including Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway, has agreed to donate their F-16s to the Ukrainian Air Force. As part of the deal, Danish instructors at Skrydstrup Air Base are training Ukrainian pilots, technicians and ground crew how to fly and maintain the F-16. The first jets will enter service later this year.

The Ukrainian pilots are full of praise for the F-16, noting its responsive controls and agile flight features. The F-16 is an advanced multirole fighter, which will replace Ukraine’s aging fleet of MiG-29 Fulcrums and Su-27 Flankers. Speedy, highly manoeuvrable and capable of carrying a wide range of ordnance, the F-16 will significantly strengthen Ukraine’s ability to continue defending its airspace and territory against Russia’s war of aggression.

In May 2023, an international coalition consisting of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark announced their intention to train Ukrainian jet pilots on the F-16 ahead of possible future deliveries to increase the Ukrainian Air Force capabilities in the current Russo-Ukrainian War. The U.S. confirmed that it would approve the re-export from these countries to Ukraine. Denmark has agreed to help train Ukrainians on their usage of the fighter. A number of Ukrainian pilots began training in Denmark and the U.S.

The European F-16 Training Center, organized by Romania, the Netherlands, and Lockheed Martin through several subcontractors, officially opened on 13 November 2023. It is located at the Romanian Air Force’s 86th Air Base, and Ukrainian pilots are expected to start training there in early 2024. On 17 August 2023, the U.S. approved the transfer of F-16s from the Netherlands and Denmark to Ukraine after the Ukrainian pilots have completed their training. The Netherlands and Denmark have announced that together they will donate up to 61 F-16AM/BM Block 15 MLU fighters to Ukraine once pilot training has been completed.

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