Ukraine to Receive 18 F-16 Fighter Jets from Netherlands

Ukraine, which has been facing a brutal war with Russia since February 2022, has received a major boost from its Western allies in the form of 18 F-16 fighter jets from the Netherlands. The Dutch government announced on Friday that it is preparing to give the F-16s to Ukraine, in a move that was welcomed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as "historic" and "the most important" one yet.


The F-16s are U.S.-made and will be delivered to Ukraine after training Ukrainian pilots on how to operate them. The training will take place at a European F-16 Training Center in Romania, which will also host pilots from NATO countries. The Dutch Minister of Defense Kajsa Ollongren confirmed the jets' arrival in a separate post, saying the center would open soon. The Netherlands is one of the first countries to agree to provide Ukraine with F-16s after training. Other NATO members Denmark, Norway, and Belgium have also announced that they will provide a handful of their F-16 stockpile to Kyiv. The U.S. Department of Defense previously said that it would lead the training protocols for Ukrainian pilots.

EN - 728x90

The delivery of F-16s comes as Ukraine is struggling to counter Russia's air superiority, which has been using its advanced Su-35 and Su-57 fighter jets to strike Ukrainian positions and infrastructure. Russia has also deployed hundreds of drones and missiles to support its ground forces in eastern Ukraine, where it backs separatist rebels who have declared two self-proclaimed republics. Ukraine's pilots at the moment are operating Soviet-era jets, such as MiG-29 and MiG-23, which are outdated and vulnerable to modern weapons. Zelensky has made several pleas for upgraded aircraft from his Western allies, saying that they are essential for defending Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Save Money 728x90

Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed the idea of supplying F-16s to Ukraine as futile and counterproductive. He said during the Eastern Economic Forum in September that "they are going to supply F-16s. Will it change? No. This simply prolongs the conflict". However, some analysts believe that providing F-16s to Ukraine could deter further Russian aggression and signal solidarity with Kyiv among NATO members. They also argue that F-16s could help improve Ukraine's air defense capabilities and interoperability with other NATO forces. The Netherlands has been a strong ally of Ukraine since well before Russia's full-scale invasion began in February 2022. In 2014, 196 Dutch citizens were killed when Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over Ukrainian territory held by pro-Russian separatists. Dutch investigators said in February there were "strong indications" that Putin personally approved the decision to provide separatists with the missile system that downed the plane. The Dutch government has promised €2.5 billion ($2.7 billion) in support to Ukraine this year.

Also Read:

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post

1 / 3
2 / 3
3 / 3
EN - 728x90