U.S. defense contractor Lockheed Martin will provide training on the F-16 fighter jet in Romania on behalf of the Netherlands. Filippo Marchetti, senior regional executive at Lockheed, signed the letter of intent with the defense ministers from the two nations in Spain earlier this week.
The agreement involves establishing a pilot training center at the Romanian Air Force 86th Air Base and lending a number of the Royal Dutch Air Force’s F-16 jets to Romania, a plan that Dutch defense officials said has received authorization from the United States. U.S. approval is required for such transactions since the aircraft uses technology originating from American companies.
The Netherlands outsourced the training to Lockheed because it said it did not have enough personnel and assets to support it. According to the Dutch defense ministry, it is prioritizing its F-16 operations until the jets are replaced with F-35s by 2024.
Earlier this month, the Netherlands, along with Denmark, committed to transferring F-16s to Ukraine, which has been defending against Russian invasion.