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Belgium considers sending F-16 jets to Ukraine

by Martin Fornusek September 21, 2023 4:29 PM 1 min read
A Belgian Air Force F-16 is seen flying over the course during Day Two of the Soudal Open at Rinkven International Golf Club on May 12, 2023 in Anterwp, Belgium. (Photo credit: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
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Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said that the country's defense ministry will investigate the possibility of sending F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, the Belgian public broadcaster VRT reported on Sept. 20.

The Belgian military said earlier that the F-16s in its arsenal were too old to be of use. However, De Croo commented that all options should be investigated, suggesting that if the jets are not suitable for combat, Ukrainian pilots could at least use them for training, VRT wrote.

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"We have to look at all options. If they are still useful in some way, then we should certainly investigate that," the Belgian prime minister said.

The Benelux country is currently replacing its aging F-16s with newer F-35 fighters. According to VRT's investigation, Belgium could provide Ukraine with at least some of its 45 F-16 jets during this transition period.

On Sept. 15, Belgian Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder said that the country would train Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighters, thus joining the international fighter jet coalition.

The Netherlands, Denmark, and Norway have so far confirmed they will send their F-16 fighters to Ukraine.

Kyiv hopes that the fourth-generation U.S.-made aircraft can tip the balance in the fight against Russia in Ukraine's favor.

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