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Defense Express estimates when to expect F-16 in Ukraine

30 November, 2023 Thursday
20:25

Military expert Valeriy Ryabykh believes that F-16 aircraft will appear in Ukraine by the end of the year

He shared his opinions with Espresso TV.

"Aircraft can create an advantage on the battlefield. But it depends on what kind of aircraft we get. These can be aircraft with limited capabilities or more modern ones. And there are certain limitations associated with the training of our pilots. There was a report that the first F-16s may appear by the end of this year, i.e. in the near future. But we should separate the arrival of F-16s in Ukraine from the appearance of these aircraft on the battlefield. These processes may differ," explained Ryabykh.

According to the military expert, it is more likely that F-16s will appear on the battlefield sometime in the end of the first quarter of next year.

"And this may coincide with the start of the spring-summer campaign in 2024," Ryabykh noted.

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.

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.

At the same time, Denmark said it would supply Ukraine with the aircraft if they were not used in Russia. The Netherlands will provide 42 fighter jets. At the same time, Norway will provide Ukraine with F-16s, but the exact number is unknown.

On September 15, Belgium joined the training of Ukrainian pilots on F-16s. Earlier, the Belgian Defense Ministry said it would not provide Ukraine with F-16 fighters because they are outdated and in poor condition. Such aircraft are dangerous to operate.

On October 11, Danish Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen said that the country would be able to deliver the first F-16s to Ukraine in March-April 2024.

On October 12, the media reported that the Netherlands would send F-16s to Romania, where Ukrainian pilots would begin training in a few weeks.

On October 26, Ukrainian pilots began flight training on F-16s at an air base in Arizona, USA.

On November 1, the Pentagon said that the training in Arizona could last from 5 to 9 months.

On November 7, 5 Dutch F-16 fighter jets arrived in Romania, where a training center for Ukrainian and Romanian pilots would soon open.

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