Netherlands to give all but few of its F-16s to Ukraine

The Netherlands promised Ukraine 42 F-16 fighters

The Netherlands will hand over all of its F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, keeping a few of them to train Ukrainian pilots, Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren said in an interview with news outlet European Pravda on Aug. 24.

"We are switching from F-16s to newer F-35s, but at some point, as a result of the war in Ukraine, we decided that we would not sell the old F-16s but would keep them available and now we will give them to Ukraine — all but a few aircraft that will be used to train Ukrainian pilots," Ollongren explained.

Read also: Eight Ukrainian pilots begin F-16 training in Denmark

The minister added that pilot training never ends and that it will be necessary for pilots to constantly maintain their skills. She clarified that Ukrainian pilots will probably be able to study in Romania at a dedicated training center.

Read also: ‘Far more intense than expected – Ukrainian marines speak about U.K. training

<span class="copyright">NV</span>
<span class="copyright">NV</span>

"Training for pilots never ends," she said.

“As long as you use F-16s, you will be training new pilots, and you will need a training center. We have been doing it ourselves for 40 years. You can't train one batch of pilots and stop there. It has to be a continuous process.”

On Aug. 19-20, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited Sweden, the Netherlands and Denmark. Amsterdam and Copenhagen promised to deliver 61 F-16 aircraft to Kyiv — 42 and 19 respectively.

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