Belgium Considers Whether It Can Supply F-16s to Ukraine
Thursday, 21 September 2023
Alexander De Croo, Prime Minister of Belgium, has stated that Belgium is considering supplying Ukraine with its F-16 fighter jets.
"We have requested that the Ministry of Defence check whether our aircraft have reached the end of their service life," De Croo said during a broadcast by Belgian broadcaster VRT on Wednesday.
De Croo says that the question is how long these planes could still serve Ukraine.
"We have to consider all options. If they are somehow still usable, then we definitely have to consider it," the head of the Belgian government said.
He explained that the aircraft could not necessarily be used for combat missions. "It may be that Ukraine will use Belgian planes only for training. Then the requirements will be different," De Croo said.
David Clarinval, Deputy Prime Minister of the Belgian government, previously stated in an interview with RTL that next year, Belgium could theoretically deliver two to four F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. VRT News sources confirmed the possibility that Belgium could supply Ukraine with the F-16s.
The Belgian Air Force has 45 F-16 fighters. All of them will reach the end of their service life over the next 5-6 years. Starting next year, the Belgian Air Force will begin receiving four to five new F-35 fighters per year, which will gradually replace the F-16s. The corresponding decision was made back in 2018.
At the same time, it was reported that in 2024, the Ministry of Defence of Belgium will send two F-16B training aircraft to Denmark for advanced training. Ukrainian pilots will undergo the training at Skrydstrup Air Base in Denmark.
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