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A total of ten European Nato-member countries have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish a pilot training programme.

The participating nations are Belgium, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Spain, and Turkey.

The defence ministers of the ten nations agreed to create a network of training centres for fighter jet, helicopter and drone pilots as part of Nato’s Flight Training Europe programme (NTFE).

The initiative seeks to leverage new technologies such as virtual reality to enable adaptable pilot training across Europe.

It will lead to the development of a network of campuses across Europe to cover different aspects and types of aircrew training.

This will provide the participating nations with access to a wider range of training opportunities and reduce the need for sending pilots to the US for training.

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It is also expected to improve interoperability among participating airforces and reduce training costs.

Nato deputy secretary-general Mircea Geoană said: “Nato troops operate and deploy together. So it makes sense that they also systematically prepare and train together.

“Most importantly, by continually investing in high-quality training for our aircrews, NFTE is helping the alliance to maintain its technological and military edge.”

Notably, NFTE was officially launched by 11 Allies in June 2020 with the signing of a letter of intent (LoI) last year. Subsequently, Belgium joined the programme as the 12th participant.