Belgium to send 30 F-16s to Ukraine by 2028 – Belgian MFA

F-16
F-16

Belgium will send 30 F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine by 2028, with the first planes arriving by the end of the year, Belgian Foreign Minister Khadja Labib said on Bel RTL.

Read also: Zelenskyy in Belgium to sign latest security pact with Western ally

This commitment will be formalized in the security agreement, which will be signed on May 28, in Brussels during the visit of the Ukrainian  President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Such support of Ukraine is necessary in order to stop the Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, who, "intends to move the borders of European countries and ensure the security of Belgium," she said.

"Could Russian tanks one day invade Brussels? If we allow Vladimir Putin to go his way, this is not an impossible scenario."

The first F-16 multi-purpose fighter with trained Ukrainian pilots will arrive in Ukraine by the summer of 2024, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo reported on April 18.

F-16 fighters for Ukraine

The Netherlands and Denmark promised in August 2023 to jointly provide Ukraine with 61 American F-16 fighter jets. This was preceded by a transfer authorization from the United States.

Norway has also confirmed its intention to supply F-16s. Belgium will also provide Ukraine with F-16s, but in 2025.

Read also: Ukraine to welcome first F-16 fighter jet by summer— Belgian PM

The Netherlands announced its decision to begin preparations for the transfer of the first 18 aircraft to Ukraine in December, and later increased this number to 24. In total, the country has promised Kyiv 42 fighters.

The tentative timeline for the delivery of the fighter jets to Ukraine was the first half of 2024.

The first F-16s would arrive in Ukraine around June 2024, Foreign Policy reported on Feb. 18, 2024, citing European officials. Commenting on this, the then spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force, Yuriy Ihnat, noted that it was impossible to talk about specific dates for the transfer of F-16s to Ukraine by foreign partners.

The first 10 Ukrainian pilots had completed basic flight, ground, and language training on F-16 fighters in Britain, the UK government announced on March 22. The military will now move on to advanced flight training provided by the French Air Force.

The Netherlands plans to start sending F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine in fall, Dutch Defense Minister Kees Ollongren said on May 6. At the same time, Danish Ambassador to Kyiv Ole Egberg Mikkelsen said that planes would arrive this summer.

The first Western F-16 fighter jets would arrive in Ukraine within a few weeks, on May 10, The Standard reported, citing a high-ranking military source.

Read also: Ukraine to receive first F-16 jets after Easter celebrations - UA Air Force

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