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Denmark starts training of Ukrainian pilots, considers donation of F-16s to Ukraine

Lockheed Martin F-16CJ Fighting Falcon. Author: U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Sarayuth Pinthong. combat jets to Ukraine
The American F-16 fighter jet.
Denmark starts training of Ukrainian pilots, considers donation of F-16s to Ukraine

Denmark has begun training Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets, the acting Defense Minister of Denmark, Troels Lund Poulsen, announced on 26 June, the Associated Press reported.

Troels Lund Poulsen said Denmark started a training and “further education effort” for the Ukrainian pilots. While Ukrainian pilots began training in Denmark, the Danish government announced plans to begin decommissioning its fleet of aging US-made F-16 fighter jets two years ahead of schedule. Thus, the replacement fighters, F-35s, will be operative by 2025 instead of 2027, as it was planned before, according to Denmark’s acting Defense Minister.

“We will also consider whether we should make a concrete donation to Ukraine of the Danish F-16 fighters, and how many there should be,” Troels Lund Poulsen said.

Ukrainian pilots will spend six to eight months training before a possible donation of Danish F-16 fighter jets can begin, Poulsen told Danish broadcaster DR.

The acting Defense Minister of Denmark did not rule out that the decision to transfer the F-16s to Ukraine could be made before the Ukrainian pilots complete their training in Denmark.

Denmark, which is a NATO member, plans to replace more than 40-year-old F-16s with 27 F-35A fighter jets, according to the Associated Press. Denmark’s Air Force has 30 operative F-16 fighters. The switch to the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter jets is scheduled to begin in late 2023 and will be completed by the end of 2025.

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