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Netherlands MoD reveals timeline for first F-16s arrival in Ukraine

Netherlands MoD reveals timeline for first F-16s arrival in Ukraine Illustrative photo (Photo: Getty Images)
Author: Daria Shekina

Ukraine will receive F-16 fighter jets in the first half of this year, with the first planes arriving from Denmark, announces Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren.

She explains that Danish aircraft will be the first to arrive in Ukraine, but later in 2024, Dutch aircraft will also arrive.

"I'm very confident that we will start delivering F-16s this summer," she says.

The minister emphasizes that Denmark will come first because there is an approved schedule. Later in the second half of the year, Dutch aircraft will arrive in Ukraine.

F-16s for Ukraine

Last year, Denmark and the Netherlands promised to provide Ukraine with 61 F-16 fighter jets. To begin deliveries, Ukrainian pilots and ground crews need to undergo appropriate training. On its part, Ukraine must prepare the necessary infrastructure for the fighters.

Former spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force Yurii Ihnat previously mentioned that the training of the first group of Ukrainian pilots on F-16s in the United States was expected to be completed in early summer. Meanwhile, The New York Times notes that twelve Ukrainian pilots will be ready for combat flights on F-16s by this summer. However, there won't be enough planes for all of them.

The Pentagon has stated that the F-16 fighters will provide unique air capabilities to Ukraine. However, they will only be used within the sovereign territory.