On Thursday 17th August the United States of America has approved sending F-16 Fighting Falcons fighter jets to Ukraine from Denmark and the Netherlands to defend against Russian invaders as soon as pilot training is completed
Ukraine has actively sought the U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets to help it counter Russian air superiority.
Danish Airforce F-16’s during a technical stop at Malta International Airport as part of NATO Operation Unified Protector (OUP) during the Libyan Uprising back to 2011.
Washington gave Denmark and the Netherlands official assurances that the United States will expedite approval of transfer requests for F-16s to go to Ukraine when the pilots are trained.
Zelenskyy welcomed the “historic” announcement making Denmark and the Netherlands the first countries to donate F-16 jets to Ukraine’s counteroffensive against Russia.
“It makes me proud that Denmark, together with the Netherlands, will donate F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine’s fight for freedom against Russia and its senseless aggression,” Zelenskyy said after his visit to a Dutch air base with Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
After his visit to the Netherlands Zelenskyy flew to Denmark, where he and his wife were received by the Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, other Danish Cabinet ministers and Crown Princess Mary at the Skrydstrup air base in southern Denmark where Ukrainian pilots will receive F-16 training in the coming months.
“We have agreed on the transfer of 19 F-16 jets by Denmark. This is a very powerful support for us. Training missions are already starting. Today, we have talked to our men and women who are studying and will work with F-16s here and then in our skies,” Zelenskyy said at a news conference following talks with Frederiksen.
The Danish prime minister pledged 19 F-16s to Ukraine and said she hoped the first six could be delivered around the start of the new year.
Rutte didn’t provide a number or a timeframe when the Dutch might delivery theirs, saying it depends on how soon Ukrainian crews and infrastructure are ready.
“The F-16s will not help immediately now with the war effort. It is anyway a long-term commitment from the Netherlands,” Rutte said. “We want them to be active and operational as soon as possible. … Not for the next month, that’s impossible, but hopefully soon afterward,” he said.
Zelenskyy said on his Telegram channel that Ukraine would get 42 jets.