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Norwegian F-16 jets arrive in Denmark for Ukrainian pilots training

by Martin Fornusek January 5, 2024 9:14 PM 1 min read
A Norwegian F-16 jet lands in Denmark as part of a training program for Ukrainian pilots on Jan. 5, 2024. (Norwegian Air Force/X)
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Norwegian F-16 fighter jets had landed in Denmark to support the training program for Ukrainian personnel, the Norwegian Air Force announced on Jan. 5.

Earlier this week, Oslo said it is sending two F-16s along with 10 instructors to a facility in Denmark where instruction for Ukrainian aviators is underway.

One of the 13 countries of the "fighter jet coalition," Norway pledged to help train Ukrainian pilots on F-16s as Kyiv expects to receive the U.S.-made jets from its partners.

"After over 40 years in service, these aircraft will now train Ukrainian military personnel, reinforcing our commitment to Ukraine's defense," the Norwegian Air Force said on the social media platform X.

Belgium also announced on Jan. 4 that it is deploying two of its F-16 jets and 50 personnel to Denmark as part of the training program.

Next to Denmark, flying lessons for Ukrainian pilots are also ongoing in the U.S. and a training hub was opened in Romania last November.

Pentagon spokesperson General Pat Ryder said on Jan. 4 that the training in the U.S. would be complete "later this year" without giving a more precise deadline.

The Washington Post reported that according to official estimates, Ukrainian pilots would be ready to fly F-16s no earlier than summer 2024.

It also remains unclear when Ukraine will receive the aircraft. Some Ukrainian lawmakers have suggested that they will not be in operation until late spring in the best-case scenario.

Apart from the two jets allocated for training, Norway has also pledged to hand over some of its F-16s to bolster Ukraine's Air Force without specifying the number. According to the NRK broadcaster, Oslo plans to send between five and 10 planes.

The Netherlands will deliver 18 F-16 aircraft to Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky announced on Dec. 22, following a call with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. Denmark pledged to provide 19 of its aircraft.

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