US approves Denmark and the Netherlands transferring F-16s to Ukraine — report


The United States has finally greenlit the transfer of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine from Denmark and the Netherlands — as soon as Ukrainian pilots complete their training — Reuters reported on Aug. 17, citing an unnamed U.S. official. 

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According to the report, Washington assured Denmark and the Netherlands that it will expedite the approval of all necessary requests for the F-16 transfer, so that the Ukrainian pilots can receive their fighters immediately after completing training.

“I am writing to express the United States’ full support for both the transfer of F-16 fighter aircraft to Ukraine and for the training of Ukrainian pilots by qualified F-16 instructors," U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a letter to his Danish and Dutch counterparts — a copy of which was seen by Reuters.

The report notes that U.S. President Joe Biden approved training programs for Ukrainian pilots on F-16s in May, although delivery timelines for the aircraft had not been announced.

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NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that Ukraine's allies will individually determine when to begin training Ukrainian pilots.

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At the July NATO summit in Vilnius, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov signed a memorandum with 11 colleagues to form an international “pilot training coalition.” There is also a possibility to include other types of aircraft in the program, not just F-16s.

Read also: Ukrainian pilots to train in Denmark and Romania – White House

In addition to Ukraine, the coalition includes the UK, the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, Canada, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, and Sweden.

In early August, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy confirmed that Ukrainian pilots will start training on F-16s by the end of the month.

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