Ukrainian servicemen complete F-16 maintenance training in the Netherlands


Ten Ukrainian servicemen completed F-16 fighter maintenance training in the Netherlands, the Dutch Defense Ministry reported on May 21.

They studied the maintenance of all parts important for a fighter pilot: the helmet, and oxygen systems and parachutes on board.

The training also included assembling and testing an emergency rescue kit. It allows a fighter pilot to sustain himself for several days after an emergency landing. It includes food products and medicines.

Read also: Ukraine to receive first F-16 jets after Easter celebrations - UA Air Force

During training, cadets prepare for all possible risks while flying the F-16.

The Netherlands is one of the initiators of the establishment of the European F-16 Training Center (EFTC) in Romania. 11 F-16 aircraft have already been placed at the disposal of the EFTC.

F-16 fighters for Ukraine

The Netherlands and Denmark promised in August 2023 to jointly provide Ukraine with 61 American F-16 fighter jets. This was preceded by a transfer authorization from the United States.

Norway has also confirmed its intention to supply F-16s. Belgium will also provide Ukraine with F-16s, but in 2025.

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Read also: Ukraine to receive Danish F-16 jets this summer — Dutch defense minister

The Netherlands announced its decision to begin preparations for the transfer of the first 18 aircraft to Ukraine in December, and later increased this number to 24. In total, the country has promised Kyiv 42 fighters.

The tentative timeline for the delivery of the fighter jets to Ukraine was the first half of 2024.

The first F-16s would arrive in Ukraine around June 2024, Foreign Policy reported on Feb. 18, 2024, citing European officials. Commenting on this, the then spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force, Yuriy Ihnat, noted that it was impossible to talk about specific dates for the transfer of F-16s to Ukraine by foreign partners.

Read also: Denmark to deliver F-16s within few months— PM Frederiksen

The first 10 Ukrainian pilots had completed basic flight, ground, and language training on F-16 fighters in Britain, the UK government announced on March 22. The military will now move on to advanced flight training provided by the French Air Force.

Western F-16 fighter jets should appear in Ukraine's skies in mid-summer, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on March 27.

Dutch Defense Minister Kees Ollongren on May 6 announced that country plans to start sending F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine in fall. At the same time, Danish Ambassador to Kyiv Ole Egberg Mikkelsen said that planes would arrive this summer.

The first Western F-16 fighter jets would arrive in Ukraine within a few weeks, on May 10, The Standard reported, citing a high-ranking military source.

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