ua en ru

Transfer of F-16s to Ukraine from Denmark and Netherlands already underway

Transfer of F-16s to Ukraine from Denmark and Netherlands already underway Photo: Anthony Blinken, US Secretary of State (Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)

Denmark and the Netherlands have begun transferring F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine to help defend against Russian aggression, according to the speech of US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken at the NATO summit, the White House and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's Twitter (X) account.

"I'm also pleased to announce that as we speak, the transfer of F-16 jets is underway, coming from Denmark, coming from the Netherlands. And those jets...will be flying in the skies of Ukraine this summer," Blinken said.

According to him, the aircraft are being transferred to ensure that Ukraine can continue its effective defense against Russian aggression.

Meanwhile, the White House website published a joint statement by US President Joe Biden, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, and Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen on the supply of F-16s to Ukraine.

"The Danish and Dutch governments are in the process of donating American-made F-16s to Ukraine, with the support of the United States. The transfer process for these F-16s is now underway, and Ukraine will be flying operational F-16s this summer," the statement said.

The leaders added that they cannot disclose more detailed information about the supply for security reasons.

Biden, Rutte, and Frederiksen thanked Belgium and Norway for promising to transfer additional F-16 fighters to Ukraine.

According to the leaders, strengthening Ukraine's air capabilities will include squadrons of modern multi-role fourth-generation F-16 jets (typically consisting of 12 aircraft per squadron).

Zelenskyy's reaction

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked Denmark, the Netherlands, and the USA for practical steps to strengthen the Ukrainian Air Force with F-16 fighters.

"I am grateful to Belgium and Norway for their commitment to providing us with their F-16 jets. This is a clear signal that Russia’s ability to terrorize Ukrainian people, cities, and communities will continue to reduce," he added.

According to the head of state, he is confident that the F-16s will help Ukraine defend against Russia's brutal attacks, such as the strike on the Okhmatdyt children's hospital.

"I anticipate that our air force capability coalition will be strengthened even further through the joining of new participants," emphasized the President.

F-16s for Ukraine

Last year, Denmark and the Netherlands promised to transfer approximately 60 F-16 fighters to Ukraine. These aircraft will significantly bolster Ukrainian air capabilities, as Russia currently maintains a substantial advantage in the air with much more advanced aviation.

Following this announcement, allies began assisting Ukraine in preparations for the deliveries. Several countries started training Ukrainian pilots and ground crews for the American fighters. Infrastructure preparations also commenced within the country.

Danish and Dutch officials pledged that the first aircraft shipments to Ukraine would begin this summer. However, they did not disclose specific timelines.

For more details on how such deliveries could impact the battlefield situation, see the material by RBC-Ukraine.