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Ukraine on 'final stretch' to acquiring F-16s: When combat use may begin

Ukraine on 'final stretch' to acquiring F-16s: When combat use may begin Ukraine may use F-16s as early as spring 2024 (Getty Images)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

Ukraine is on the final stretch on the way to receiving F-16 fighter jets. The combat use may begin in the spring of 2024, according to the "Spravdi" Center for Strategic Communication and Information Security.

"The process of receiving F-16 combat aircraft by Ukraine is entering the home stretch. This was preceded by months of preparatory work within the framework of the aviation coalition," the statement says.

The Center for Strategic Communication and Information Security suggests that Ukraine may start using F-16s as early as next spring. The necessary infrastructure and aviation maintenance teams are currently being finalized.

At the same time, Russian fakes about the alleged destruction of aircraft at Ukrainian airfields are Kremlin propaganda, as Moscow is trying to divert attention from its defeats. The Russians have already lied about destroying other samples of Western weapons that Ukraine has not yet received.

"The use of modern combat aviation by the Ukrainian Defense Forces will better protect Ukrainian skies and contribute to the success of ground operations to de-occupy the territories," Spravdi says.

F-16 for Ukraine

Earlier, Ukraine's allies announced the creation of an aviation coalition to provide modern fighters, including F-16s, to the country. The coalition was led by the Netherlands and Denmark.

In the fall, Politico reported that Ukrainian pilots began flight training on F-16s in the United States, and on October 25, they began flying F-16s. Before that, they had been training on simulators, flight simulators that fully recreated the cockpit of an airplane.

Recently, it was officially announced that the first group of Ukrainian pilots completed the basic training program in the UK and began training on F-16s in Denmark.

On December 22, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that the Dutch government had decided to prepare the first 18 F-16 fighter jets for delivery to Ukraine.