Netherlands Announces Where Part of Promised F-16s Will Go

Friday, 25 August 2023

The Netherlands will hand over all its F-16 fighters to the Ukrainian Armed Forces but retain a few for training Ukrainian pilots.

"We have 42 of them but some of those airplanes will be used to train Ukrainian pilots. The others we will transfer to Ukraine," Kajsa Ollongren, Dutch Defence Minister, said in an interview with European Pravda

The minister explained this by saying that training for pilots never ends. 

"It's not going to be necessarily in the Netherlands. We’re looking at the training center in Romania. You always continue training. For as long as you use F-16s, you will train new pilots, and you will have the need for also this training center," said Ollongren. 

The minister noted that the Netherlands has been doing this for 40 years.

 "You can’t train just one batch and then stop the training. It has to be a continuous process," Ollongren added.

Earlier, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukraine could count on all 42 F-16s which the Netherlands has at its disposal, but will not receive them immediately.

Kajsa Ollongren considers that a realistic timeframe for the delivery of F-16s to Ukraine is six to eight months because several prerequisites must be met before this can happen.

For more information, watch the video Conditions for F-16s, permission to strike Crimea, and where pilots will be trained. Interview with the Dutch Defence Ministry.

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