28.9 C
Tuesday, May 30, 2023


UK and Netherlands to buy F-16 fighters for Ukraine

Related stories

Moscow drone attack aimed to provoke and scare Russia – Putin

As stated by Russian President Vladimir Putin, a drone...

Man gives up after shooting family member at party

After reportedly shooting a woman at a birthday party...

Egyptian sarcophagus found in ancient mummification factories

In ancient mummification factories and tombs found close to...

4-year-old boy hit and killed by car in Birmingham

Last night in Birmingham, a toddler was murdered after...

10 dead after bus slides off bridge in India

After a bus slid off a bridge and into...

Russia attacks Kyiv in a new daytime manner

Following a nighttime onslaught of the Ukrainian capital and...

4 dead as tourist boat capsizes in Lake Maggiore, Italy

After a tourist boat sank on Sunday night in...

4 kids missing in Colombian jungle

"We had only been in the air for a...

NATO peacekeepers injured in Kosovo clashes

The Italian defence ministry reports that amid clashes with...

Indian teenager girl publicly stabbed to death

In India's capital, a 16-year-old girl was brutally stabbed...
- Advertisement -

A representative for UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said Tuesday that Britain and the Netherlands are forming a “international coalition” to assist Ukraine in acquiring F-16 fighter jets, which Kyiv claims are essential to its defence as Russia intensifies its aerial attacks.

Following a meeting between Sunak and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte at the Council of Europe Summit in Iceland, the two NATO allies reportedly tried to bring US-made jets to Ukraine as well as train Kyiv’s pilots to fly them.

- Advertisement -

The statement from the presidents of Britain and the Netherlands was warmly received by Ukraine, which has been arguing that the fighter jets are crucial to protect against Russian missile and drone threats.

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

- Advertisement -

Yermak said Belgium, another NATO ally, in particular, had “confirmed its readiness to train” Ukrainian pilots.

Britain does not have F-16s in its air force, but the Netherlands and Belgium do. The US Air Force has almost 800 F-16s in its fleet.

- Advertisement -

Speaking in the United Kingdom Monday, Zelensky welcomed promises of fresh military aid from European leaders – but renewed his demands to be provided with modern fighter jets.

Following a visit with Sunak, Zelensky hinted that Ukraine is closer to receiving F-16s, saying that Kyiv and London were “actively moving forward” on a plan. Zelensky also thanked the UK for agreeing to train Ukrainian pilots.

The US Air Force calls the F-16, which first flew in 1978, a “relatively low-cost, high-performance weapon system.”

The single-engine jets can act in air-to-air or ground-attack modes, flying in all weather conditions with a range of 500 miles (860 kilometers).

It would be a substantial upgrade to the aircraft in Ukraine’s fleet now, largely Soviet-era warplanes that were either in Ukraine’s air force before the Russian invasion or have been given to Kyiv by other European states like Poland that used to be in the Soviet orbit.

Despite Zelensky’s repeated pleas for F-16s, many of Ukraine’s allies have been reluctant to supply Kyiv with weapons that can reach Russian soil.

Early on in the war, the US believed that supplying Ukraine with new fighter jets would risk an escalation between NATO and Russia.

Meanwhile, US and allied officials have previously said the jets would be impractical because they require considerable training and Russia has extensive anti-aircraft systems that could easily shoot them down.

Any movement of F-16s to Ukraine would require US approval and US President Joe Biden said earlier this year that Kyiv did not need the fighter jets.

But CNN reported in March that the US is working with Ukrainian pilots in the United States to determine how long it would take to train them to fly F-16s, according to sources briefed on the matter.


- Never miss a story with notifications

- Gain full access to our premium content

- Browse free from up to 5 devices at once

Latest stories