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F-16s from Netherlands, Denmark on their way to Ukraine, Blinken announces

by Kateryna Hodunova July 10, 2024 5:20 PM  (Updated: ) 2 min read
Antony Blinken, United States Secretary of State, holds the closing press conference at the NATO headquarters on the second day of the NATO Foreign Affairs Ministers' meeting on April 4, 2024 in Brussels, Belgium. (Omar Havana/Getty Images)
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The first F-16 fighter jets are on their way from the Netherlands and Denmark to Ukraine, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on July 10 during the NATO summit in Washington.

"Those jets will be flying in the skies of Ukraine this summer to make sure that Ukraine can continue to effectively defend itself against Russian aggression," Blinken said.

Ukraine was expected to receive the first F-16 jets this summer, a year after Denmark and the Netherlands founded the "fighter jet coalition" with nine other countries at the NATO summit in Vilnius in July 2023.

U.S. President Joe Biden, Dutch Prime Minister Dick Schoof, and Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen also confirmed the transfer of aircraft in a joint statement published on July 10.

The statement reiterated Blinken's comment that the jets' transfer was underway and that Ukraine would be flying F-16s this summer, adding that they are "are unable to provide additional details at this time due to operational security concerns."

"We are committed to further enhancing Ukraine's air capabilities, which will include squadrons of modern fourth-generation F-16 multi-role aircraft," the statement read.

"The coalition intends to support their sustainment and armament, as well as further associated training for pilots to enhance operational effectiveness."

The Netherlands earlier pledged to deliver 24 of its fourth-generation U.S.-made jets to Ukraine, while Denmark confirmed sending 19 F-16 aircraft.

Both countries earlier announced that they would deliver the first batch of fighter jets this summer.

Former Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren said last month that the Netherlands will deliver its first F-16 fighter jets "shortly after Denmark."

Kyiv also expects to receive the aircraft also from Belgium and Norway.

Norway announced on July 10 that it will donate six F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, with the deliveries starting this year.

Ukraine can use Netherlands’ F-16s to strike inside Russia as self-defense, Dutch minister says
The comments come a day after Denmark said Ukraine may use Danish-supplied F-16 jets to strike military targets in Russian territory, as this would be “within the rules of war.”

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