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F-16 from the Netherlands and Denmark: What version of aircraft will deliver to Ukraine?

F-16 from the Netherlands and Denmark: What version of aircraft will deliver to Ukraine? Media learned which version of F-16 Ukraine will receive from the Netherlands and Denmark

Ukraine will receive F-16 fighters from the Netherlands and Denmark, which underwent modernization from the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s, according to Defence Express.

When were the F-16s that Ukraine will receive produced?

Production of F-16 aircraft for European operators was localized in the Netherlands and Belgium in the late 1970s and continued into the 1990s at Fokker and SABCA plants. The first F-16 for the Netherlands Air Force was produced in 1979, and the last in February 1992.

The Netherlands had a significant fleet of 213 aircraft, but after the Cold War, the country started actively reducing it. Some aircraft were decommissioned, and others were sold to Jordan and Chile. As a result, the Netherlands currently has 42 F-16 jets that might be from the last production batches.

Denmark began receiving F-16s in January 1980. Initially, the country ordered 58 aircraft, and in the mid-1980s, an additional 12 replaced the most worn-out aircraft of the first batch. This order was completed around the late 1980s.

Denmark did not sell its aircraft; instead, they were retired at the end of their operational life. Formally, Denmark has 44 aircraft, but only 30 of them are in operating condition.

Because of this, it's not possible to accurately determine how many of them will be transferred to Ukraine. Some fighters might be used for training, and others for spare parts.

What version of F-16 will Ukraine receive?

As for the version of the F-16 that Ukraine will receive, all F-16 aircraft of the Netherlands and Denmark underwent modernization under the Mid-Life Update (MLU) program from the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s, they were also regularly serviced to extend their operational lifespan.

The F-16 MLU version features replacing the radar station with AN/APG-66(V)2, which has a target detection range of up to 110 km. Additionally, the capability to carry high-precision munitions was added using pods like Lantrin or Litening. The onboard computer, indicators, ECM systems, navigation, and communication systems were also updated, along with low-level flight capabilities.

The F-16 MLU version is a full-fledged multirole fighter capable of engaging in air combat at distances exceeding 100 km and using a wide range of precision weapons.

Some of the fighters might undergo certain additional upgrades, especially considering the stretched-out delivery schedule.

How long can F-16s keep flying?

Thanks to advanced modernization programs and service life extension efforts, F-16s will remain operational for a considerable time. This is supported by the fact that F-16C/D aircraft, produced in the mid-1990s, will continue to serve in the United States until the 2050s.

Moreover, Romania also operates second-hand F-16s. The country's Air Force plans to use them until the mid-2030s by conducting all necessary maintenance. However, the Romanian government is considering their replacement.

The operational lifespan of fighters in wartime conditions is typically shorter.

F-16 for Ukraine

Ukraine requires the F-16 fighters to defend its territory against hostile attacks and to provide Ukrainian military personnel with the ability to compete in the air against Russian forces.

Previously, the United States approved the transfer of F-16 fighters from Denmark and the Netherlands to Ukraine. Jake Sullivan, an advisor to the U.S. President on national security, stated that Ukraine would receive the aircraft after pilot training.

Notably, the Netherlands is set to provide Ukraine with 42 fighters, while Denmark will give an additional 19. The first group of F-16 fighters from Denmark is expected to arrive in Ukraine before the New Year.