Espreso. Global

Belgium refuses F-16 fighter jets supply to Ukraine: details

5 September, 2023 Tuesday
14:08

Belgium will not provide Ukraine with F-16 multi-role fighter jets because they are outdated and in poor condition. Such aircraft are dangerous to operate

Lieutenant Frédéric Goetynck shared the information with Euroactiv.

"It’s not that we don’t want to, but when our planes are retired, they’re worn out. These planes will already have flown so many hours that their structure is simply worn out. You can’t send planes to Ukraine that you wouldn’t use yourself," he said.

The Brussels Times clarifies that the more hours a fighter jet has flown, the more labor-intensive and expensive its maintenance is.

"In aviation, there's no room for error. Once an aircraft surpasses its certified flight hours, it's no longer deemed safe for operation," the media outlet said, citing experts.

Belgium also intends to purchase Sea Sparrow missiles from Germany for Ukraine.

F-16 fighter jets for Ukraine

On May 21, US President Joe Biden approved the training of Ukrainians on F-16s. Volodymyr Zelenskyy assured that Ukraine would not use these aircraft to strike at Russian territory. Defense Ministry adviser Yuriy Sak said that Ukraine hopes to receive the first modern American F-16 fighters in the fall of 2023.

In July, Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba says that the first F-16 fighter jets are likely to fly in Ukraine's skies by the end of March 2024.

On August 17, the United States approved the delivery of F-16 multi-role fighters to Ukraine.

At the same time, Denmark said it would supply Ukraine with 19 aircraft, provided they are not used on Russian territory. The first group of pilots has already begun training on F-16s in Denmark.

The Netherlands will provide Ukraine with 42 fighter jets. At the same time, Norway will supply Ukraine with F-16s, but the exact number is unknown.

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