ua en ru

First F-16s provided to Ukraine will protect Kharkiv - The Guardian

First F-16s provided to Ukraine will protect Kharkiv - The Guardian Photo: The first F-16s provided to Ukraine will defend Kharkiv from Russian strikes (Getty Images)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

The first F-16s are likely to arrive in Ukraine in the summer. The fighter jets are expected to defend Kharkiv from Russian strikes, according to The Guardian.

The news agency quoted the commander of the Dutch Air Force, General Arnoud Stallmann, who expects the first F-16 fighters to take to the skies over Ukraine this summer.

"Around this summertime, it is all lining up," he says.

According to The Guardian, the Netherlands has launched a program to train Ukrainian instructors in aircraft maintenance. The general notes that it is important to train not only pilots but also engineers who will be responsible for maintaining the aircraft in the future.

Ukraine has been waiting for months to start using the fighter jets and hopes that their introduction will change the dynamics of the war and force Russia to suspend its attacks in the border regions. Experts believe that the Ukrainian military will be able to use the F-16 against Russian aircraft that launch guided bombs from a distance of 50 to 70 kilometers.

"Russia has been using KABs extensively against the city of Kharkiv in recent weeks, launching the bombs from planes that remain inside Russian airspace. Numerous Ukrainian sources said F-16s would protect Ukraine’s second city from these weapons," the article says.

The Guardian recalls that the Netherlands and Denmark have allowed Ukraine to use F-16s against Russian aircraft, even if they are in Russian airspace.

F-16 for Ukraine

Ukraine will receive American F-16 fighter jets from its partners as part of the previously established aviation coalition. Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Norway have pledged to provide Ukraine with about 80 aircraft.

In addition, the Allies have organized training for Ukrainian pilots on F-16s, and technical personnel are also receiving training.

The Dutch Minister of Defense recently stated that the first F-16s could arrive in Ukraine this summer.

Recently, Ukraine reported that some of the provided fighters will be deployed in partner countries for security purposes.

Read more about when Ukraine will be able to receive the first F-16s in RBC-Ukraine's article.