Belgian Air Force F-16AM fighter

Belgium promises 30 F-16 fighters to Ukraine, Sweden pauses Gripen transfer plan

With a new donation, the Ukrainian Air Force should have at least 85 Lockheed Martin aircraft, the first during the summer. Swedish government has suspended Saab fighter transfer plans for now

Belgium has joined the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway in the plan to transfer F-16 fighters to Ukraine. The announcement took place on Tuesday in Brussels at a meeting between Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The Belgian Air Force is expected to transfer 30 Lockheed Martin jets starting this year, extending until 2028. The transfer depends on the entry into service of the first Belgian F-35A, part of an order for 34 aircraft.

The first of the 5th generation fighters completed its first flight in mid-May and will head to a US air base for pilot and ground crew training.

With the addition of Belgium, the Ukrainian Air Force is expected to have at least 85 F-16 fighters. The first jets are expected “very soon”, according to the Ukrainian government.

Swedish Gripen C (Saab)

Sweden pauses sending Gripen fighters

Almost at the same time as Belgium’s announcement, the Swedish government confirmed that it is halting plans to transfer Saab Gripen fighters to Ukraine.

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Since 2023, the two countries have been discussing a possible supply of the jet, but until then nothing had been decided.

However, according to Swedish Defense Minister Pal Jonson, other countries in the pro-Ukraine coalition have requested that the plan be put on hold while the introduction of the F-16 takes place.

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