Espreso. Global

Integration of F-16 into Armed Forces takes place both in Ukraine and abroad

8 January, 2024 Monday
16:47

Work on integrating the F-16 multi-role aircraft into the overall system of the Armed Forces is underway both in Ukraine and abroad

Ukraine's First Deputy Defense Minister, Lieutenant General Oleksandr Pavliuk, said this.

"Work on the integration of the F-16 multi-role aircraft into the overall system of the Ukrainian Defense Forces continues both within Ukraine and as part of our joint efforts with partners within the framework of the international Air Force Coalition," he wrote.

At the same time, Pavliuk noted that work is underway on the Fast Track, which is expected to be implemented by the end of 2024.

"As part of it, airfields for multi-role fighters were assessed. Also, our pilots and engineers have been training on F-16s since August 2023 under a wide range of programs," said the lieutenant general.

The First Deputy Defense Minister also noted that Ukraine is working hard to prepare for the defense of infrastructure, including air defense.

"I would like to note that training on the territory of Ukraine takes place in conditions of constant use of airfield infrastructure, engineers and flight personnel to perform combat missions. And we are doing our best to simultaneously defeat the enemy, protect our own capabilities and acquire new ones," emphasized Pavliuk.

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.

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

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 Earlier, the Belgian Defense Ministry said it would not provide Ukraine with F-16 fighters because they are outdated and in poor condition.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.

According to ISW, Ukraine may receive F-16s by the end of 2023.

On December 26, the first group of Ukrainian pilots completed their basic F-16 training in the UK and are now training to fly the fighter jets in Denmark.

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