Ukraine expected to have F-16 fighters from Denmark and the Netherlands

The US government has authorized aircraft that are being withdrawn from service in European countries to be passed on to the Ukrainian Air Force

Ukraine is expected to have F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters from Denmark as well as the Netherlands, a senior US government official told Reuters.

The Biden administration would have already authorized Lockheed Martin aircraft to be transferred to the Ukrainian Air Force, but that depends on the completion of training for the country’s pilots, which is ongoing.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Wopke Hoekstra, confirmed the US authorization in a post on the social network X. Denmark followed a similar speech in statements by the Minister of Defense to a local news agency.

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Both Denmark and the Netherlands are replacing their F-16A/B with the 5th generation Lockheed Martin F-35A fighter, considered one of the most capable and versatile fighters on the market.

Dutch F-35 (RNAF)

The Royal Danish Air Force received its first F-35A in 2021 and since then at least six aircraft out of the 27 ordered have arrived in the country. With that, the 43 F-16s in service began to be retired.

The Netherlands, in turn, has a firm order for 52 aircraft, although it has already considered expanding its fleet. The Royal Netherlands Air Force has had the new fighter since 2019, when the first stealth jet was delivered by Lockheed Martin.

The active F-16 fleet in the Netherlands is 24 aircraft and will be withdrawn from service in 2024 . The Air Force has another 18 fighters, but 12 of them have already been negotiated.

Danish F-16 (RDAF)

A coalition of 11 countries will train Ukrainian pilots in the F-16 over the next few weeks at an air base in Denmark.

Plans are to conclude the process in early 2024, opening up the possibility that the fighters will be operational in the following months.


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