Dutch Confirm U.S. Approval for Delivery of F-16s to Ukraine

An F-16 fighter aircraft releases flares during the Han Kuang drill at the Ching Chuan Kang (CCK) air force base in Taichung, central Taiwan, on June 7, 2018. - Taiwan on June 7 staged its largest annual drills simulating Chinese attacks as Beijing stepped up military and diplomatic pressure on …
SAM YEH/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. has given approval for the Netherlands to deliver F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, the Dutch defense minister said Friday, although no timeline was given for delivery or training of the required combat pilots.

The warplanes are a major gain for Kyiv even though they won’t have an immediate impact on the almost 18-month war.

“I welcome the US decision to clear the way for delivery of F-16 jets to Ukraine. It allows us to follow through on the training of Ukrainian pilots,” Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren said in a message on X, formerly known as Twitter. “We remain in close contact with European partners to decide on the next steps.”

The announcement comes just 24-hours after Ukraine lamented there would be no no foreign donations of fighter jets during the count offensive, or even this year at all, as Breitbart News reported.

Apart from delivering the warplanes, Ukraine’s allies also need to train its pilots. Washington says the F-16s, like the advanced U.S. Abrams tanks, will be crucial in the long term as Kyiv faces down Russia’s invasion forces.

The Netherlands is part of a Western coalition that also includes Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden and the United Kingdom that in July pledged to train Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16s.

Washington must give its approval as the planes are made in the United States, as Breitbart News reported.

Senior Ukrainian officials close to the country’s President Zelensky previously expressed delight at the prospect of receiving the jets .

“We need F-16s, and I am grateful to our allies for their decision to work in this direction, including training our pilots,” Andriy Yermak, the head of Zelensky’s office, said back in May.

Follow Simon Kent on Twitter: or e-mail to: skent@breitbart.com


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