published : 2023-08-21

Ukraine to Receive Long-Requested F-16s from Netherlands and Denmark

Netherlands is considering the number of available aircrafts, 42 F-16s, to be sent to Ukraine

A Dutch F-16 fighter jet, ready for takeoff, standing against the backdrop of a cloudy sky, highlighting a sense of urgency and readiness. Taken with a Nikon Z7 II.

In a crucial development, Ukraine is set to acquire F-16 fighter jets, a long-standing request from Netherlands and Denmark. According to the announcement made on Sunday, these powerful machines will be shared in the weeks to come.

While Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, revealed a stock of 42 available F-16s, he did not shed light on exactly how many of these will be directed towards Ukraine.

The Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed gratitude towards Rutte's initiative, stirring optimism for a strategic shift in the standoff against Russia.

Rutte affirmed that military training programs will commence in the very near future. He also acknowledged that operational readiness of these planes will require well-trained pilots, which could prompt a time delay.

Zelenskyy, in his statement, praised the Netherlands for their comprehensive and strong support for Ukraine.

A close-up shot of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, his expression reflective of his hope and optimism for the future of his country. Taken with a Canon EOS R5.

He further articulated hope for consistent support from Netherlands post their imminent parliamentary elections.

Last week, Denmark and the Netherlands were offered the green light to share F-16s by the US. Concurrent to this, President Biden's administration also approved similar training programs for Ukrainian pilots earlier this year.

A firm advocate for the F-16s, Zelenskyy believes these aircrafts offer a solid boost for Ukraine's on-going counteractive operations against Russian forces.

"Aircraft can speed up this process," he explained on Sunday, "We are speaking about air defence, with the winter settling in and fully understanding the hardships of experiencing the season without electricity."

A rendezvous between Zelenskyy and Danish officials was also on the cards later, on Sunday.

A symbolic photograph of a sole, white dove soaring in a crisp winter sky - embodying Ukraine's quest for peace amidst challenging times. Taken with a Sony Alpha 1.

In the backdrop of the gifted fighter jets, there is growing disaccord in the US over their continual support for Ukraine. Earlier this month, President Biden suggested an additional $24 billion for their ongoing war effort, which triggered outrage from many Republicans.

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., emphasized scrutiny of this additional spending request by Congress and the American people.

Barasso's concern resonated within the concern of domestic issues, "We have real work to do here at home. The United States has doubled what other NATO countries have contributed – combined. Our NATO allies need to step up because the U.S. will not shoulder this alone," he stated.