Dutch Government Initiates Delivery Process for 18 F-16 Fighter Jets to Ukraine

F-16 Fighter Jet Delivery Signals Support Amidst Ongoing Conflict
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 03:03 PM, December 22, 2023
  • 747
Dutch Government Initiates Delivery Process for 18 F-16 Fighter Jets to Ukraine
Dutch F-16s fighter jets @Netherlands MoD

The Netherlands has decided to provide military assistance to Ukraine by delivering 18 F-16 fighter jets, announced Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Friday.

The move is part of the agreements on military support for Ukraine in the face of Russia's ongoing invasion.

In a post on the social media platform X, Prime Minister Rutte stated, "Today I informed President Zelenskyy of our government's decision to prepare an initial 18 F-16 fighter aircraft for delivery to Ukraine. The delivery of F-16s is one of the most important elements of the agreements made on military support for Ukraine."

However, the delivery of the fighter jets is contingent upon obtaining an export permit from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and meeting specific criteria related to staff and infrastructure in Ukraine. Rutte did not provide a timeline for when these decisions would be finalized.

Despite the absence of a definite timeline, the Dutch government assured that the announcement enabled the reservation of funds and allocation of resources to prepare the planes for delivery.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine expressed gratitude for the Dutch government's decision. He stated on social media platform X, "I spoke with Mark Rutte to thank the Dutch government for its decision to start preparing the initial 18 F-16 jets for their delivery to Ukraine."

Zelenskyy further acknowledged the Netherlands' support for initiating Ukraine's EU accession talks and stressed the importance of receiving €50 billion in long-term EU assistance for Ukraine promptly.

The Ukrainian President and Prime Minister Rutte discussed various aspects of the conflict, including frontline developments, the situation in the Black Sea, and Ukraine's immediate military needs such as artillery, drones, and air defense. Both leaders agreed to continue collaborative efforts on security guarantees in line with the G7 Vilnius Declaration. Additionally, they discussed the upcoming Peace Formula meeting and efforts to garner further international support for Ukraine's vision of a just peace.

In August, the Netherlands confirmed its intent to supply Ukraine with 18 F-16 fighter jets, following U.S. approval. While not officially confirmed earlier, it was known that the Dutch military had 18 surplus non-operational F-16s. The remaining 24 are operational, with the Dutch Air Force upgrading to the newer F-35.

The Netherlands is actively involved in establishing a training center for F-16 pilots in Romania, aiding Ukrainian and Romanian pilots. The Dutch-owned five F-16 units stationed there will undergo training for approximately six to eight months.

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