European Coalition Hopes To Start Deliveries Of F-16s To Ukraine In The Summer | Aviation

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A Dutch F-16 (Image credit: RNLAF)

According to the Minister of Defense of the Netherlands, Ukraine will get 24 ex-RNLAF F-16s.

An interesting update about the deliveries of the first F-16s to Ukraine was provided by the Minister of Defense of the Netherlands, Kaisa Ollongren, during a visit to the 306 Squadron of the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) at Leeuwarden AB, last week.

During her visit, Ollongren was interviewed by the Ukrainian media Ukrinformthat asked the Dutch Ministry some questions about the imminent transfer of F-16s to Kyiv.

“In total, we are going to hand over 24 F-16 fighters”, she said. “They will be transferred to Ukraine as soon as everything is ready. This moment depends on the training of Ukrainian pilots and technical personnel, as well as, of course, on the infrastructure. This transfer is a joint work, a joint effort with Ukraine, as well as with Denmark, the United States and other countries. It’s hard, it’s difficult, but it will happen. Our coalition hopes that already this summer we will be able to start deliveries of F-16 fighters, Denmark will deliver first and the next one is Netherlands.”

Pilot training underway

At the moment, training of Ukrainian pilots is underway in the UK, in the U.S., in Denmark and in Romania, depending on their flying experience. A European F-16 Training Centre (EFTC) at Baza 86 Aeriana Fetesti was established to train Romanian and Ukrainian pilots, as well as other regional F-16 operators with more 18 RNLAF (Royal Netherlands Air Force) F-16s, which remain property of the Dutch government, available for this purpose.

The 24 aircraft mentioned by Ollongren are intended for delivery to Ukraine. The RNLAF is in the process of retiring its fleet of Vipers making the jets available for the new operator. Some of them are currently being prepared for the hand over, in consultation with coalition partners.

Asked whether the Defense Minister and Prime Minister Rutte personally asked the…

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