Ukraine, Portugal discuss training of Ukrainian pilots on F-16s
On Thursday, December 21, Defense Minister of Ukraine Rustem Umerov had a conversation with his Portuguese counterpart Helena Carreiras
Rustem Umerov shared the information on X.
According to the Ukrainian Defense Minister, the parties had a "productive call," and Umerov thanked Portugal for its support.
"Grateful for the support Portugal has provided to Ukraine. We discussed the training of Ukrainian technical and support personnel for F16 and Portugal’s engagement," Umerov wrote.
According to the Ukrainian defense minister, he invited Portuguese companies to "co-invest in Ukraine’s defense productions."
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 Earlier, the Belgian Defense Ministry said it would not provide Ukraine with F-16 fighters because they are outdated and in poor condition.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.
On November 7, 5 Dutch F-16 fighter jets arrived in Romania, where a training center for Ukrainian and Romanian pilots would soon open.