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Ukraine conflict: Denmark confirms commencement of F-16 training for Ukrainian pilots

Denmark has begun training Ukrainian pilots on its F-16s, ahead of transferring the aircraft to the embattled country. (NATO)

Denmark has commenced the training of Ukrainian pilots on the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon combat aircraft, the Danish Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed on 13 September.

Announcing a media event for the arrival of the first Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II into Flyvestation Skrydstrup (Skrydstrup Air Base), the MoD noted that Ukrainian pilots were being trained on the F-16 at the station.

โ€œAmong other things, due to increased safety at the airbase in connection with training Ukrainian pilots on F-16s, there will be limited freedom of movement on the day,โ€ the MoD said.

The confirmation came some three months after Danish Defence Minister Troels Lund Poulsen said in June that the country had taken steps to launch F-16 training for Ukrainian pilots. This was followed in September by Denmark, the Netherlands, and Norway pledging to transfer F-16s to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The Royal Danish Air Force (RDAF) maintains around 40 F-16AM/BM Block 15 mid-life upgrade (MLU) aircraft, including some in storage, while the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) has 24 F-16AMs updated to the same MLU standard that provides for an analogous capability to the US Air Force's F-16C/D Block 50/52 aircraft. This includes the carriage of the latest AIM-9 and AIM-120 air-to-air missiles, as well as the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM), and other air-to-surface munitions.

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