Norway to hand over six F-16 fighters to Ukraine: when deliveries will begin

F-16 fighters
F-16 fighters

Norway will donate six F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. "We aim to start the donation in 2024," said Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.

He announced at the NATO summit in Washington, D.C., noting that our country's ability to defend itself from air attacks "is crucial in the defense battle against Russia." This was reported by VG.

When Støre arrived in Kyiv in August 2023, on Ukraine's Independence Day, he announced the transfer of F-16s from Norway. A few days earlier, after many months of hesitation, the United States gave the green light. But then the prime minister did not name the number or timing of the delivery of the fighters.

The other countries of the air coalition (Denmark, the Netherlands, and Belgium) will provide the Ukrainian Air Force with significantly more combat aircraft than Norway. Denmark plans to give 19 aircraft, the Netherlands – 24, and Belgium – 30.

Norway will retire its F-16 combat aircraft in 2021, gradually replacing them with F-35s. 32 Norwegian F-16s were sold to Romania.

A small number of Ukrainian pilots are currently completing their F-16 training in Denmark. It is expected that the first Western fighter jets could be deployed to Ukraine this summer. Denmark will soon finish its training program, which will likely be followed by Romania.

"Both President Zelenskyy and Foreign Minister Kuleba have repeatedly expressed their great gratitude to Norway for its support of air defense and have made it clear that these aircraft are a crucial contribution to the defense of their freedom and sovereignty," Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide said.

The publication suggested that Ukrainians are likely to leave part of their fleet outside the country if their own F-16 bases are targeted by the aggressor.

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin has threatened that Ukrainian aircraft outside the country will become what Russia considers "legitimate targets."

It should be added that the aircraft will be armed and otherwise provided with supplies within the framework of multinational cooperation (Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Norway will take part in this).

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