Ukraine will receive 42 F-16 fighters after the training of pilots and engineers. This was announced after a meeting with the Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, who visited this country on August 20.
“Today we are taking another step towards strengthening the air shield of Ukraine. F-16. Aircraft that we use to keep Russian terrorists away from Ukrainian cities and villages,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy wrote in a telegram.
Rutte noted that the Netherlands, as well as Denmark, will hand over the F-16 to Kyiv when the conditions for delivery are met. When exactly Ukraine will receive fighters and when the training of pilots will end, Rutte did not specify.
From the Netherlands, Zelensky went to Denmark. The Minister of Defense of this country, Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, officially announced earlier that Denmark, together with the Netherlands, will transfer F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine “for Ukraine’s struggle for freedom against Russia and its criminal aggression.”
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said Kyiv will receive 19 fighter jets. Of these, six, according to her, before the New Year, eight more – next year and the remaining five – later.
Since the beginning of the Russian invasion, Ukraine has lost a significant part of its military aviation fleet, Kyiv has asked its Western allies to provide the Ukrainian Armed Forces with modern fighters.
Several NATO countries, in particular Poland and Slovakia, handed over Soviet-made combat aircraft to Ukraine.
In August, Washington gave permission to train Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets. Politico reported that a group of eight fluent English-speaking pilots had already been identified, but the first planes could not be delivered to Kyiv until spring 2024.