The Netherlands could potentially have F-16s for Ukraine
The Netherlands is considering sending F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine but has not made any final decision yet.
Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, shared this during a press conference.
When asked whether the Netherlands would send fighter jets to Ukraine, Rutte noted that no final decision had been made but added that “if you start training (pilots – Ed.), it’s obvious that is something you are seriously considering”.
According to Rutte, any decision on sending F-16s would depend on approval from the U.S.
He added that the Netherlands would potentially have fighter jets to pass on as it was currently phasing out its F-16s.
According to the Ministry of Defense of the Netherlands, the country currently has 24 operational F-16 fighter jets that will be phased out by mid-2024.
Another 18 of the fighter jets are currently available for sale, of which 12 have been provisionally sold.
The Netherlands is currently leading a joint training mission with Belgium and the UK, with other European countries having expressed interest in assistance.
Rutte noted that the launch of the training mission is important, but the actual transfer of the aircraft should be discussed separately.
Also today, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine announced the required number of F-16s to liberate Ukraine. The number mentioned is 48 fighter jets.
“4 squadrons of F16s (48 aircraft) are exactly what we need to liberate our country from the aggressor,” the statement said.
Previously, the U.S. Department of State stated that the US considers it a priority task to provide Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets, and this will start being implemented in cooperation with allies and partners in the coming months.
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