Ukraine Will Receive F-16s When Several Preconditions Are Met – Minister of Defence of the Netherlands

Friday, 25 August 2023

The Minister of Defence of the Netherlands, Kajsa Ollongren, considers the transfer of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine within six to eight months realistic, as several preconditions need to be fulfilled before that.

"We have already started the training jointly with Denmark and several other countries. This training is something new to us. We have to build it up so that you will have enough trained personnel to actually use the F-16s. Then, of course, the infrastructure is very important. Ukraine is working on having the right infrastructure for these jets and for very advanced weapon system," she noted in an interview with European Pravda.

Additionally, she mentioned that discussions with Washington are ongoing, as the decisions lie with them since it's their weapon system.

"We know that it takes time. By our assessment, training will take six to eight months. And that's already extremely fast. No one has done it that fast before. That is the timeframe we are looking at. But in the meantime we can prepare everything to have the transfer ready," Ollongren stated.

She expressed doubt that it would be possible to send jets this year.

"From the Netherlands side, we want to have these preconditions met first. So that we have the trained crews, we know that the infrastructure is in place and we have everything needed, not only the airplanes but also the spare parts and weapons. Being realistic, we’re looking at next year," the Minister said.

Furthermore, Ollongren added that the exact conditions for sending the jets are still under discussion.

"We have not decided on the exact conditions. It's also not only up to us: United States has an important voice," she stated.

Ukrainian pilots are known to have already started training on F-16 fighter jets in Denmark. Greece and Portugal will also train Ukrainian pilots on the F-16s.

Denmarkthe Netherlands and Norway announced their decision to send these aircraft to Kyiv after training is complete.

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