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Belgium confirms intention to provide Ukraine with F-16 fighters in 2025

Belgium confirms intention to provide Ukraine with F-16 fighters in 2025 Belgian Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder and Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov (Photo:

Belgium's Minister of Defense, Ludivine Dedonder, confirmed the country's intentions to transfer F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine in 2025, according to the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

Ukraine's Minister of Defense, Rustem Umerov, met with his Belgian counterpart, Ludivine Dedonder. The ministers discussed the transfer of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, pilot training, and the supply of necessary equipment for the aircraft.

"We highly appreciate your unwavering support and comprehensive participation in strengthening the defense capabilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine," emphasized Umerov.

According to him, it is now necessary to establish supply chains for ammunition, spare parts, and technical equipment for the F-16.

Moreover, Belgium confirmed its intention to transfer fighter jets to Ukraine in 2025.

During the meeting, the ministers also discussed the possibility of hosting representatives of the Belgian defense industry in Ukraine early next year.

The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine stated that the total technical assistance from the Kingdom of Belgium to the Armed Forces of Ukraine is over 320 million euros.

F-16s for Ukraine

Previously, Ukraine's allies announced the creation of an aviation coalition led by the Netherlands and Denmark to transfer modern fighter jets, including F-16s, to the country. Ukraine will receive at least 61 aircraft from Denmark and the Netherlands.

Politico correspondent Lara Seligman reported that Ukrainian pilots have started flight training on F-16s in the United States. According to her, on October 25, Ukrainian pilots began flights on F-16s after training on simulators that fully replicated the aircraft's cockpit.

On October 22, the spokesperson of the Air Force Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Yurii Ihnat, announced that Ukrainian pilots would soon switch from simulators to actual F-16 fighters, accompanied by instructors.

On November 7, the Netherlands sent their first five F-16 fighter jets to Romania to train Ukrainian pilots, opening a specialized center.

The Air Force hopes the first F-16 fighters will likely arrive in Ukraine in the spring of 2024. About 150 aircraft would be sufficient to defend the country's airspace effectively.