The transfer of F-16 aircraft to Ukraine involves the need to provide it with support in the operation of these machines. This also applies to servicing and repairs. These – as informed by American politician William A. LaPlante – will take place in Poland.
The first tranche of F-16s to be transferred to Ukraine was delivered in early November 2023 ferried from the Netherlands to Romania. Five machines are currently stationed at the 86th Air Base near the city of Borcea, where the F-16s purchased by Bucharest are also to be delivered.
Ukrainian pilots train there – close to the border of their country – under the supervision of NATO instructors. In parallel with pilot training, work is underway to provide the Ukrainian aviation with support in the operation and repair of Western machines.
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According to USAF Deputy Secretary for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics William A. LaPlante, Ukrainian F-16s will be repaired in European countries, mainly in Poland, and basic servicing will take place in Ukraine.
This decision involves the transfer of a stock of parts and consumables by the US Department of Defense at least 90 days of operation F-16 in combat conditions.
Since the planes donated by Western countries are to reach Ukraine in good technical condition, the Americans’ decision indicates that they expect the planes to be operated by the Ukrainian air force for a longer period of time. As William A. LaPlante, quoted by Milmag, explained:-
Polish service center for F-16
The decision to locate a service center for Ukrainian machines should not be surprising. Poland is already an important center for both production (at the PZL Mielec plant) and servicing of the F-16 at the Military Aviation Works No. 2 in Bydgoszcz.
It is WZL2 that is responsible not only for servicing 48 Polish F-16s, but also for the renovation of the entire fleet of American aircraft of this type stationed in Europe, i.e. another 90 machines.
Łukasz Michalik, journalist of Wirtualna Polska