Minister: Dutch F-16s could be in Ukraine in six to eight months
The transfer of F-16 fighter jets from the Netherlands to Ukraine may take place in six to eight months.
The Minister of Defense of the Netherlands, Kajsa Ollongren, made such a statement in an interview with Evropeiska Pravda.
According to her, the transfer of the fighter jets will take place as soon as possible, but several prerequisites must be met before that.
First of all, it regards the availability of trained ground personnel and pilots of the Air Force of Ukraine to operate F-16 fighter jets.
“The training of pilots has already begun, but we need to ramp it up so that you have enough trained personnel for the combat use of F-16 fighter jets. It is also important to address the infrastructure issue, so here in Ukraine you are simultaneously working on creating the proper infrastructure for this modern aircraft and the advanced weapons on it,” she said.
In addition, all the steps are discussed with Washington in parallel, because the decision is theirs, since these are American fighters.
“And we understand that it takes time. We estimate that it will take six to eight months to complete the training. But this is already extremely fast. No one has ever done it so quickly before. Therefore, I hope that we will meet this timeframe,” Ollongren said.
She doubts that the delivery of F-16s is possible this year.
“From the Netherlands, we need all the prerequisites to be met first. Namely, that the crews are trained, that we understand that the infrastructure is ready, and that we have not only the aircraft but also spare parts, the necessary weapons for them, etc. With this in mind, we have realistic expectations for next year,” the minister said.
Ollongren added that the exact terms of the fighter jets’ transfer were still being discussed.
“We haven’t decided on the exact terms yet, and it’s not just up to us. This is also an issue where the United States has an important voice. And where Ukraine’s voice is also important,” she said.
Militarnyi earlier reported that on August 20, the Netherlands and Denmark announced their decision to provide Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets. According to President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, the Netherlands will provide 42 fighter jets to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Denmark has officially confirmed the transfer of 19 F-16 multirole fighter jets to Ukraine.
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