Ukrainian Fighter Pilots Commence Training in Denmark with Norwegian F-16s

Last year, Norway, along with Denmark and the Netherlands, pledged to donate retired F-16s to Ukraine.
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  • 08:19 AM, January 4, 2024
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Ukrainian Fighter Pilots Commence Training in Denmark with Norwegian F-16s
F-16 fighter @Norwegian MoD

Norway has taken a significant step in aiding Ukraine's efforts to develop a modern air force by dispatching two F-16 fighter jets to Denmark for the training and education of Ukrainian personnel.

Defense Minister Bjørn Arild Gram visited the airfield in Bodø this week, where the final preparations for the F-16s are underway before their mission begins.

Accompanying the F-16s are ten Norwegian instructors who will play a crucial role in supporting the training and education of Ukrainian pilots. Minister Gram expressed his admiration for the military sector's impressive contribution, emphasizing the importance of such assistance for European security and stability.

“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. 

The Norwegian government, in collaboration with international partners including the United States, Denmark, and The Netherlands, is committed to assisting Ukraine in building a robust air force with the ultimate goal of establishing a self-sufficient defense without ongoing international support. Norway joins Denmark, Belgium, and The Netherlands in donating F-16s to Ukraine, with the training and education of pilots forming a crucial component of this aid.

Ukrainian fighter pilots, accustomed to different aircraft, will undergo training to operate F-16 systems. Simultaneously, Ukrainian technicians will receive training in Denmark, the United States, and Belgium. The collaborative effort involves allied partners and states working around the clock to equip Ukraine with a modern and lasting air force, according to Minister Gram.

The training program will be conducted in Skyldstrup, Denmark, with the Norwegian Air Force already presenting instructors who will actively participate. Minister Gram highlighted the multinational nature of the program and stated that the duration of the deployment to Denmark would be determined through discussions with other program partners.

Last week, the UK confirmed that the initial batch of Ukrainian pilots completed basic training with the Royal Air Force and is now learning to operate fighter jets in Denmark. The effort, led by the U.S., Denmark, and the Netherlands, aims to establish a modern air force for Ukraine. The donated fighters are part of an international initiative, including Norway's recent pledge of $31 million in air defense systems. Additionally, a European F-16 Training Center was opened in Romania in November, with the Netherlands committing up to 18 F-16s for flight training.

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