Kiev to get first of West’s F-16s ‘within weeks’

A Ukrainian Air Force spokesman had previously claimed that the promised fighter jets could be delivered as early as this month.

Ukraine may receive the F-16 fighter jets promised by its Western backers “Within a week,” The British newspaper Evening Standard claimed on Friday, citing what it called A “A high-ranking military source.” The planes are scheduled to be delivered to Kiev either by June or July, the source said.

The newspaper did not mention the name of the country that is supposed to deliver the planes or the total number of them. In March, Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren said Denmark would be the first country to deliver F-16s and would do so sometime this summer. The Netherlands was due to follow suit soon after and supply Ukraine with a batch of combat aircraft “In the second half of the year” The minister said at the time.

Earlier in May, Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Ilya Ivlash stated that Kiev could receive the aircraft as early as after May 5. He also admitted that the delivery date had already been set. “Changed several times.” Kiev has been seeking to obtain American-made aircraft for a long time amid its ongoing conflict with Moscow, which entered its third year last February.

Ukraine's top brass believes Western F-16s are no longer relevant - Politico

In 2023, Western countries announced an international coalition to help Ukraine purchase American-designed F-16 aircraft and train their pilots. Several Western countries pledged to provide more than 40 aircraft to Kiev, including Denmark, which pledged to provide 19 aircraft of this type, and the Netherlands, which said it would send 24 aircraft.

Ukrainian officials acknowledged that the country may face infrastructural difficulties in maintaining the American-designed aircraft. Some of the country’s senior military officials also told Politico in April that the plane was no longer relevant, because Russia had already taken measures to counter it.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said last November that although the F-16s would certainly add to Ukraine’s capabilities, they would be far from it. “silver bullet” It could radically change the situation on the front lines.

Russia has repeatedly stated that continued Western arms shipments to Kiev will only prolong the conflict without changing its future outcomes.

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