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Media: Norway to donate F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine

by Martin Fornusek August 24, 2023 1:48 PM 2 min read
An F-16BM Fighting Falcon of the Royal Norwegian Air Force seen flying on final approach and landing at Kleine Brogel Military Air Base EBBL airport in Belgium, Sep. 13, 2019. (Photo credit: Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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Norway has decided to donate an unspecified number of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, the Norwegian TV 2 television channel reported on Aug. 24, citing unnamed sources.

If confirmed, this would make Norway the third country to pledge the U.S.-made fourth-generation aircraft to bolster Ukraine's Air Force, following Denmark and the Netherlands.

TV 2 reported earlier today on Aug. 24 that the country's Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre has arrived in Kyiv at President Volodymyr Zelensky's invitation during Ukraine's Independence Day.

Norway's Head of Government has pledged to provide Ukrainian forces with IRIS-T anti-aircraft missiles and mine-clearing equipment. The Nordic country will also assist Ukraine in securing its gas and power supply.

Oslo has completed the decommissioning of its F-16s in favor of newer F-35 fighter jets in 2022. According to the Janes open-source intelligence company, Norway retired all of its remaining 57 F-16AM/BM aircraft.

In June 2023, the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency completed the sale of 32 F-16 jets to Romania. Some 12 Norwegian planes have been sold to the private U.S. group Draken International but have not yet been delivered, the Defense Post said.

Denmark has officially announced that it will provide Kyiv with 19 of its F-16 fighter jets, with the first batch of six planes expected to arrive by the New Year, according to Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.

Upon meeting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the Netherlands would supply Ukraine with 42 F-16 fighter jets.

According to the White House, the transfer itself will be approved by the U.S. upon the completion of training of Ukrainian pilots.

Reznikov: At least 6-7 months before Ukraine obtains F-16s
Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said on Aug. 22 that it will take at least six to seven months for Ukrainian staff and infrastructure to receive F-16 fighter jets pledged by Western allies.
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