NATO allies and Sweden signed a declaration that formalized a coalition for teaching Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16 fighter jets, the Romanian Defense Ministry Said on Wednesday.
“Minister of National Defence, Angel Tilvar, signed on Tuesday, July 11, as part of the NATO Summit from Vilnius, the Joint Declaration on the formalization of the Training Coalition for the Ukrainian Air Force, in order to operate the F-16 aircraft,” the statement read.
The coalition groups Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Romania has recently retired its fleet of Soviet-made MiG-21s to replace them with F-16s. Defense Minister Tilvar said Romania planned to have three squadrons equipped with F-16 Fighting Falcons and was interested in training pilots trained to fly them “as soon as possible.”
Romania will set up a training facility for Romanian air force personnel where they will be taught to operate F-16s. The Defense Ministry said it would accept pilots from NATO allied and partner states, including Ukraine.