Lockheed Martin to partner with multiple European companies on F-16 training center in Romania

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© Benoit Denet

The first European F-16 Training Center was inaugurated today, 13 November, at the Fetesti Air Base in southern Romania. Lockheed Martin and subcontractors, Daedalus Aviation Group, Draken International, GFD, a subsidiary of Airbus Defence and Space, and ILIAS Solutions will work as one team to provide F-16 training at the newly formed center, which is the result of unique collaboration between the Romanian Ministry of National Defence, the Romanian Air Force and the Royal Netherlands Air Force, in partnership with Lockheed Martin.

To manage the complexity of Defense organizations, IT management systems are a necessity. The ILIAS defense platform was designed from the ground up with the military end user in mind. The contributions and requirements of defense organizations have been transformed into effective capabilities. Commercial software developed by ILIAS can be specifically configured to support defense organizations’ core processes, end-to-end. To round out the training team, ILIAS Solutions will be responsible for providing integrated defense software solutions for logistics and sustainment, training management and flight scheduling.

As part of the agreement, the team will be responsible to organize, schedule, operate and maintain the F-16 fighter jets provided by the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) in support of F-16 training. More specifically, GFD and Draken will provide experienced F-16 instructor pilots with recent front-line experience flying F-16s in the U.S. Air Force and air forces throughout Europe. To further compliment the training, Daedalus will bring expertise in the European Military Airworthiness Requirements regulatory framework including Part 145, which focuses on aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul; as well as CAMO—short for Continuous Airworthiness Management Organization—which focuses on the continuing airworthiness of aircraft. Daedalus will furthermore perform F-16 maintenance, repair and logistics activities supported by experienced Draken aircraft technicians.

© Benoit Denet

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,” said OJ Sanchez, vice president and general manager, Integrated Fighter Group, Lockheed Martin. “Lockheed Martin is proud to partner with the Netherlands and Romania on this European F-16 Training Center, which will enhance mission readiness through a comprehensive F-16 training solution for Romanian pilots. The center will focus on ensuring effectiveness and safety of Romanians flying and operating F-16 fighter jets and could eventually expand to include training for other nations.

Together, with our partners from Daedalus, Draken, GFD and ILIAS, we’re providing world-class training to enhance mission readiness and ensure safety of Romanians flying and operating F-16 fighter jets,” he added.

As part of the agreement between the Netherlands and Lockheed Martin, the RNLAF will continue to own the aircraft and maintain sovereign rights.

It can be recalled that Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway are committed to transferring F-16s to the Ukrainian armed forces. Concerning the Belgian F-16s, here is the press release: “From 2025, the [Belgian Ministry] of Defense may offer to supply F-16s to the Ukrainian armed forces, as part of the process of replacing Belgian F-16s. with F-35 fighter jets.

F-16 MLU Neth AF © Benoit Denet

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