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Netherlands to send six additional F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine

This latest commitment increases the total number of aircraft pledged to Ukraine by the Netherlands to 24.
F16 combat fighter jet to ukraine
A F-16 fighter jet. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

On 5 February, Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren announced that the Netherlands is preparing to dispatch six more F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. This latest commitment increases the total number of aircraft pledged to Ukraine by the Netherlands to 24.

Ollongren emphasized the necessity of Ukraine’s aerial advantage to counter Russian aggression, highlighting the strategic importance of bolstering Ukraine’s air capabilities.

“Ukraine’s aerial superiority is essential for countering Russian aggression,” Ollongren said.

On 22 December, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte had already informed that the Netherlands decided to start preparations for transferring the first 18 F-16s to Ukraine.

Additionally, the Netherlands has announced plans to send 18 F-16s to Romania to train Ukrainian pilots, reflecting a coordinated effort to enhance Ukraine’s defensive posture.

With a total of 42 F-16s in its arsenal and transitioning to the more advanced F-35s, the Netherlands is in a position to support Ukraine while updating its own military capabilities. Ollongren previously mentioned that nearly all Dutch F-16s would be handed over to Ukraine, except those retained for training Ukrainian pilots.

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