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Letter of intent signed for Romanian F-16 training centre

Letter of intent signing for F-16 European Training Centre. Photo: Minister Of Defence Of The Kingdom Of The Netherlands.

Romania, the Netherlands, and Lockheed Martin leadership have signed a letter of intent to establish the European F-16 Training Centre in Romania.

Romania, the Netherlands, and Lockheed Martin leadership have signed a letter of intent to establish the European F-16 Training Centre in Romania.

The centre will focus on effective and safe training of Romanian pilots and maintainers operating F-16 fighter jets for ground-based and flight training missions, that could eventually expand to include training for other nations.

Aircrew from the Netherlands and Romania already train with Lockheed Martin F-16 simulators to protect airspace and form integrated NATO peacekeeping coverage.

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OJ Sanchez, Lockheed Martin integrated fighter group vice-president and general manager, said the company will work side by side with European operators to modernise the F-16 to remain ahead of the evolving threat.

“The F-16 continues to play a crucial role in 21st century security missions for the United States, Europe, NATO, and allies around the world,” Sanchez said.

“Lockheed Martin is proud to partner with the Netherlands and Romania on this European F-16 Training Centre in Romania, which will enhance mission readiness through a comprehensive F-16 training solution for Romanian pilots.

“Once details are finalised, we are confident the training centre will ultimately benefit Romania and other regional F-16 operators, including potentially Ukraine.”

More than 3,100 F-16s are operated in 25 countries, having flown an estimated 19.5 million flight hours and at least 13 million sorties.

Last month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with Dutch and Danish leadership to negotiate for the donation of a possible 61 F-16 fighter jets.

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