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F-16s fighter jets for Ukraine: Ministry of Defense shares plans

F-16s fighter jets for Ukraine: Ministry of Defense shares plans Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksii Reznikov (Photo: Getty Images)

Ukraine will receive American F-16 fighter jets.
Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksii Reznikov announced, "The F-16 aircraft will come, which is already good news, but training will begin first."

He informed that in Vilnius, Ukraine and 11 partner countries signed a memorandum on training Ukrainian pilots on American F-16 fighter jets. Ukrainian pilots and engineering technicians will undergo training in several countries simultaneously, and the training will start in August this year.

"We will do our 'homework' here in Ukraine: assess the capabilities of our airfields where the aircraft will be used and create the infrastructure for them (shelters, supplies, refueling stations, etc.)," explained the minister.

Reznikov stated that once the infrastructure and trained pilots, capable of performing combat missions, are ready, and engineers are prepared to service the aircraft, at that moment, the partners will make a decision: "Okay, now the planes!"

"That's why it will take some time. Optimistically, I think it will be next year," the head of the ministry added.

F-16 for Ukraine

Previously, the partners announced the creation of an aviation coalition to transfer modern fighter jets, including F-16, to Ukraine. The coalition is led by the Netherlands and Denmark, who expressed their intention to train Ukrainian pilots. These countries possess unique aviation simulators.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed hope that the training of Ukrainians on F-16 will begin in August, and Ukraine will be able to receive the aircraft in six to seven months.

Moreover, the Netherlands and Romania officially confirmed that they would train Ukrainian pilots at the NATO summit in Vilnius. Romania announced that they plan to start training next month.

Recently, the US National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, stated that the United States would not delay training Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets.