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Denmark to send Ukraine first F-16s in summer, Netherlands in fall, Dutch defense minister says

During a briefing in Vilnius, Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren revealed plans for the Netherlands to send F-16 jets to Ukraine after Denmark’s scheduled deliveries this summer, Lithuanian media says.
Two US F-16 Fighting Falcons. Credit: United States Air Force.
Denmark to send Ukraine first F-16s in summer, Netherlands in fall, Dutch defense minister says

On 6 May, Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren announced at a joint briefing in Vilnius with her Lithuanian counterpart that the Netherlands plans to start sending F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine this autumn, following Denmark’s scheduled summer deliveries, according to Delfi.

Ukraine seeks F-16 fighter jets to counter Russia’s air superiority at the frontline, where Russian aircraft maintain an edge with longer-range capabilities despite Ukraine’s dense air defenses. The United States approved the transfer of F-16s from Denmark and the Netherlands last August, pending completion of pilot training. Training of Ukrainian pilots and ground personnel is ongoing, and Ukraine has yet to operate any F-16s.

‘We have everything scheduled for the project, which is to train Ukrainian pilots, train maintenance personnel and hand over the aircraft themselves. We have a training center in Romania on the plan, where we are also helping to start training Ukrainians. Now they are being trained in Denmark, the USA and other countries,” Ollongren said, as per Delfi.

The prescribed plan by the allies implies first deliveries by Denmark this summer:

And if we manage to stay on this path, and Ukraine has everything working, of course, in their own country, the first aircraft will be delivered by Denmark this summer. And we hope to take part in the deliveries from the autumn with our F-16s,” said Kajsa Ollongren.

Earlier, Belgian PM Alexander de Croo announced that the first F-16 multi-role fighter jets with trained pilots are to be delivered to Ukraine by early summer.

After the United States approved last fall, countries including the Netherlands, Denmark, and Romania are helping train Ukrainian F-16 pilots to counter Russia’s air superiority. Currently, twelve Ukrainian pilots are being trained in Denmark, Britain, and the US, and are expected to be combat-ready this summer. However, upon their return, only about six of the promised 45 F-16s from European allies may have been delivered, as per media reports.

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