Netherlands to provide six additional F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine

Netherlands to provide six additional F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine

Amsterdam, Netherlands (Svidomi) — The Netherlands plans to transfer six more F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine than planned. The country will provide 24 fighters, Dutch Minister of Defence Kajsa Ollongren said.

Ukrainian pilots were to train on the previously agreed 18 aircraft at a training centre in Romania.

"Air superiority of Ukraine is essential to counter Russian aggression," Ollongren wrote on her X account.

The Dutch Ministry of Defence's website states that F-16s have been the most important part of the Royal Netherlands Air Force's strike force for many years. The F-35 has taken on this role, so all Dutch F-16s have been decommissioned.

The Netherlands, Denmark, and the United States are co-chairing a coalition to deliver F-16s to Ukraine.

"We need these aircraft primarily to protect our cities and critical infrastructure from Russia's terrorist missile attacks," Yurii Ihnat, spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force, told Ukraine's Channel 24.

In August 2023, during a briefing with then-Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, announced that the Netherlands and Denmark had pledged to provide Ukraine with 42 F-16 fighter jets.

Danish Minister of Defence, Troels Lund Poulsen, said the first combat aircraft could be sent to Ukraine in early March or April 2024.

Belgium and Greece also joined the training missions of Ukrainian pilots.