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Belgium pledges €100M to maintain Ukraine’s F-16 fighter jet fleet

This week, Ukrainian FM Dmytro Kuleba announced that F-16 jets would be in Ukraine’s airspace by mid-summer.
Minister of Defense Ludivine Dedonder visits Belgian F-16 pilots in Amari, Estonia. Photo: www.hln.be
Belgium pledges €100M to maintain Ukraine’s F-16 fighter jet fleet

Belgium has pledged €100 million in aid to Ukraine for the maintenance and support of F-16 fighter jets as part of the international F-16 coalition, Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder announced.

“The Council of Ministers approved the 25th aid package for Ukraine: €100 million will be allocated for the maintenance and support of F-16s as part of the international F-16 coalition. We keep going!” Dedonder wrote on X/Twitter.

On March 27, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba stated that F-16 jets would appear in Ukraine’s airspace by mid-summer.

Previously, on February 18, Foreign Policy reported, citing European officials, that the first F-16 fighters would arrive in Ukraine around June 2024.

Earlier estimates suggested the transfer of fighter jets to Ukraine would occur in the first half of 2024.

In August 2023, the Netherlands and Denmark jointly promised to transfer 61 American F-16 fighters to Ukraine, following approval from the United States. Norway also confirmed its intention to provide F-16s. Belgium will transfer F-16s to Ukraine as well, but starting in 2025.

Ukrainian pilots are currently undergoing F-16 training in partner countries. On March 22, the UK government announced that the first 10 Ukrainian pilots had completed basic flight, ground, and language training on F-16 fighters in Britain. These personnel will now proceed to advanced flight training provided by the French Air Force.

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