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F-16 fighter jets can change the course of events in Russia's war against Ukraine, providing Ukrainian troops with much-needed air superiority in occupied territories, according to Air Force spokesman Yurii Ihnat.
"Air superiority is the key to success on the ground, we should all understand that," Ihnat said on national television on Aug. 21.
According to the military official, "8-9 Russian fighter jets are (flying) in the occupied territories at the moment, dropping guided air bombs, launching air missiles."
"They won't be able to do it with (Ukraine having) the F-16."
However, in order to fully replace the old aircraft fleet, Ukraine needs 128 fighter jets, Ihnat told the Ukrainian service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
"It is clear that war can make its adjustments, but more than 100 aircraft are really needed to disperse them to different airfields so that they can respond to different challenges and strike various targets… (Russian) planes, ground targets, and rear camps in particular," said Ihnat.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte confirmed that the Netherlands and Denmark would supply Ukraine with F-16 jets when conditions for the transfer are met but didn't specify the number of aircraft to be delivered.
The conditions include successfully selecting, testing, and training Ukrainian F-16 personnel and the necessary authorizations, infrastructure, and logistics.