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Official: Fighter jet coalition helping Ukraine now includes 9 countries

by Martin Fornusek June 2, 2023 6:00 PM 1 min read
U.S. soldiers inspect F-16 fighter jets during the air force joint military exercise in the Philippines on May 9, 2023. (AFP via Getty Images)
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The coalition to provide Ukraine with fighter jets now includes 8 European countries, and more countries may join, online newspaper Yevropeiska Pravda reported on June 2, citing Ihor Zhovkva, a presidential deputy chief of staff.

The European countries include the U.K., the Netherlands, Poland, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Portugal, and France, he said. The U.S., a ninth member, has also joined the coalition.

The coalition is taking real steps to accelerate the training of Ukrainian pilots and technicians on F-16s and other fourth-generation fighter jets, according to Zhovkva.

The report does not mention what specific aircraft models are being considered.

On May 25, the Swedish government announced it will train Ukraine's pilots on its JAS 39 Gripen jets, but added it will not provide the planes to Kyiv.

The statement by the President's Office comes after a meeting of the 'fighter jet coalition' in Moldova on June 1.

President Volodymyr Zelensky met the leaders of the U.K., the Netherlands, Poland, Denmark, Sweden, and Belgium to discuss the training of pilots and procurement of Western fighter jets.

The leaders agreed to formalize the coalition under the name 'Ukraine's Sky Shield' at the next Rammstein Summit of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, following consultations with the U.S., which is also a party to the coalition.

Morawiecki: Poland to train Ukrainian pilots on F-16s
Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced that his country will train Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets, the Polish Radio wrote on June 1.

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