Norway to Send F-16s to Denmark for Ukrainian Pilot Training

Ukrainian technicians will also be trained for the aircraft’s maintenance in Denmark, Norwegian defense officials said.

Two F-16s will arrive in Denmark for the education of Ukrainian pilots. Defense minister Bjørn Arild Gram was a passenger on one of the last flights before traveling to Denmark. [Courtesy: Norwegian Armed Forces]

Two Norwegian F-16s will soon be sent to Denmark for Ukrainian fighter pilot training, according to Bjørn Arild Gram, Norway's defense minister.

Ukrainian officials have long sought access to the fighter jet in order to modernize its air force and improve its defense ability following Russia’s invasion in 2022.

Earlier this week, Gram visited Bodø Main Air Station (ENBO) in northern Norway, where the two donated F-16s were being prepared before being flown to Denmark for training. The Norwegian Air Force has already sent 10 instructors to the Royal Danish Air Force Fighter Wing in Skrydstrup, Denmark, where training will take place, Gram said. 

"We are grateful to our Norwegian friends for their unwavering support," the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense said Wednesday in a message on X, formerly Twitter. 

Last week, British defense officials confirmed that the first group of Ukrainian pilots had completed basic training with the Royal Air Force and were learning how to fly the fighter jets in Denmark. 

"Allied partners and states will work day and night with the goal of establishing a lasting and modern air force for Ukraine," Gram said.

The donated fighters are part of an international training effort led by the U.S., Denmark, and the Netherlands and follows Norway's pledge last month to donate nearly $31 million in National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems air defense networks to Ukraine.

In November, the defense ministries of Romania and the Netherlands opened the European F-16 Training Center (EFTC) at Romanian Air Force 86th Air Base to train pilots from Romania and Ukraine. At the time, five Dutch F-16s had been delivered to the center, and the Netherlands pledged to provide up to 18 F-16s for flight training.

"Norway has decided to follow Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands and will also be donating F-16s to Ukraine, and the training and education of pilots is an important part of the donation," the Norway defense ministry said in a statement Wednesday.

Ukrainian technicians will also be trained for F-16 maintenance in Denmark, as well as the U.S. and Belgium, Norwegian defense officials said.

Kimberly is managing editor of FLYING Digital.

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