December 13, 2005 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Turkey is going to provide F-16 fighter pilot training to Italian Air Force pilots, after recently providing similar training to United Arab Emirates Air Force pilots, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported on Monday.
A characteristic fast tacking of an AMI F-16A ADF #MM7264 over the 37th wing Trapani-Birgi Airbase on September 13th, 2004. [Photo by Alessandro Palantrani]
An agreement between the Turkish Chief of Staff and the Italian Defense Ministry signed on the 26 August 2005 was subsequently approved by the Turkish Cabinet of Ministers on 7 November.
Under the agreement, the Turkish Air Force will give G-Lab training, F-16 plane technical service training, squadron formation training, simulator practice, and F-16 flight time training to Italian Air Force pilots. The training provided will probably take place in Ankara - Akinci (LTAE) at the 4nci AJï¿½.
In the framework of an earlier agreement signed with the United Arab Emirates
in 2000, the Turkish Air Force provided F-16 training to 40 pilots and 270 maintenance officers in the period up to 2004.
According to the agreement between the Turkish Air Force and the Italian Defense Ministry, the Italians will pay 637,173 dollars per pilot for the training, not including additional costs for supplementary training modules. The agreement will run for one year with the option of an extension for an extra year if both parties wish to do so.