Netherlands Can Be First in Providing F-16s to Ukraine

Tuesday, 23 May 2023

Yurii Sak, advisor to Ukraine's Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov, suggests that the Netherlands can be the first country to provide F-16 fighters to Kyiv.

"The Netherlands are in a position to be [the] first" country gifting fighter jets," Politico quotes Sak

The Netherlands currently has 24 F-16s in service, which are "operationally deployable" and "will remain in use until mid-2024", a spokesperson for the Dutch Defence Ministry said. "After that, they are available for another destination, such as sale."

The Netherlands has an additional 18 F-16s "which are no longer used operationally" and "can also be given a different destination". 12 of these 18 were originally planned to be transferred to a private company, but the transfer had been postponed, the spokesperson noted.

Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra has announced that training of Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets will begin "very soon".

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in May that the Netherlands was considering transferring F-16 fighters to Ukraine and was discussing it with its allies.

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