65fbe8b185f54002603ec5ab jVcY9G

NATO nation gives timeline for F-16 deliveries to Ukraine

The first batch of the fighter jets will arrive from Denmark this summer, Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren says

The West will deliver the first batch of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine within the next several months, with more to come later this year, Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren has said. 

Denmark will be the first Western country to supply Ukraine with the advanced aircraft, with the Netherlands soon to follow, the defense minister revealed in an interview with Reuters on Wednesday, as she wrapped up her visit to Kiev.

“I’m very confident that we will start delivering F-16s this summer… Denmark first, and we have a schedule … so in the second half of the year, the Dutch F-16s will be going this way,” Ollongren said, without providing details on how many jets would be included in the first shipments. 

She added that it will not be easy for the West to provide Ukraine with all the aid it needs, as the US struggles to approve President Joe Biden’s assistance package earmarking $60 billion for Kiev. Republican lawmakers have opposed the move, demanding that the White House do more to enhance US border security. 

Read more

NATO states will break F-16 pledge to Ukraine – NYT

Ollongren also called for ammunition production in the EU to be ramped up amid Ukraine’s complaints that it suffers from a lack of munitions.

“We have to be realistic, and consider the possibility that it might be a lengthy war, and it is better to plan for a long war,” she said.

Western countries announced an international coalition to help Ukraine procure US-designed F-16s and train its pilots last year, with plans to provide Kiev with more than 40 aircraft. 

Denmark has pledged to send Kiev 19 jets of this type. The Netherlands initially promised 18, later increasing the number by six. 

Media reports indicate that Norway could send Kiev five to ten F-16s, with Belgium pledging to support Ukraine with an undisclosed number. 

Ukrainian officials, however, have warned that the country could face infrastructure difficulties in maintaining the US-designed jets. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in November that while the F-16s will certainly add to Ukraine’s capabilities, they will not be “a silver bullet” to fundamentally change the battlefield situation. 

Russia has warned the West that arms shipments to Ukraine will only prolong the conflict without changing the ultimate outcome. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has also said that F-16s would be “legitimate targets” for the Russian military, adding that the shipments will only increase the risk of a direct clash between Moscow and NATO.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *