July 22, 2024


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Ukraine receives devastating news about F-16s

Ukraine receives devastating news about F-16s

The delivery of the first Danish F-16 fighter jets bound for Ukraine could be delayed by up to six months in a blow to Kiev's hopes of challenging Russia in the air in early 2024.

Ukraine will receive the initial six combat aircraft in the second quarter of 2024, and not in the first days of the year as originally proposed, according to the Danish Ministry of Defense.

“Based on the current schedule, the donation should take place in the second quarter of 2024,” Copenhagen said in a statement reported by Reuters. “It is mainly a matter of completing the training of the Ukrainian personnel who will fly the aircraft.” the guardian And the Kyiv Post.

The schedule change was originally reported by a Danish outlet Berlingsky. A Ukrainian Air Force spokesman appeared to indicate shortly after that Ukraine had not received any official confirmation of these reports and that it expected to receive the aircraft in the spring.

Newsweek The Danish Ministry of Defense and the Ukrainian Air Force have been contacted for comment via email.

Danish F-16 fighter jets are seen during the Danish Air Show 2014 at Karup Air Base on June 22, 2014. Delivery of the first Danish F-16 fighter jets bound for Ukraine will be delayed by up to six months, according to a new report. This is a blow to hopes Kiev to challenge Russia in the air in early 2024.
Henning Bäger/AFP via Getty Images

In August 2023, Denmark and the Netherlands announced that they would send F-16s to Ukraine, with the first six aircraft scheduled to arrive in Ukraine around the new year.

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Kiev has demanded the planes, which would boost Ukraine's ability to compete with Russia in the skies and help launch more strikes on key targets. The F-16s are equipped with more modern avionics and radars, and are designed to fire the standard NATO weapons that Ukraine uses with its older Soviet-era aircraft.

The Ukrainian Air Force also managed to withstand nearly two years of war against Russia, reducing the number of its available aircraft.

But integrating the new, more advanced platform is no easy task, requiring new facilities, training, infrastructure and aircraft upgrades before Ukrainian pilots can take to the skies.

On December 22, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the Dutch government had begun preparations to deliver a batch of 18 F-16 aircraft to Ukraine.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said, “The delivery of F-16 aircraft is one of the most important elements of the agreements concluded on military support for Ukraine.”

Norway said earlier this week that it would send two F-16 fighter jets to Denmark to help train Ukrainian pilots on the plane. Belgium will also send two F-16s to Denmark to train Ukrainian pilots throughout 2024, Belgian broadcaster RTBF reported on Thursday.

The British Ministry of Defense said in late December that the “first group” of Ukrainian pilots trained by the British military had completed basic training in the country and were now learning to fly F-16 fighter jets in Denmark, having completed basic training. Training program in the United Kingdom.

In early November, a number of F-16s arrived at a Romanian facility designed to train Ukrainian pilots, while others are being trained at an air base in Arizona.