The US has approved sending F-16 aircraft from Denmark and the Netherlands to Ukraine. To defend against Russian invaders as soon as pilot training is complete.
According to the British news agency Reuters, the US official confirmed that Washington had assured Denmark and the Netherlands that the US would approve the request for the delivery of F-16s to Ukraine when the pilots were complete.
Ukraine needs US-made F-16 fighter jets to help counter Russia’s air force.
Denmark and the Netherlands recently asked for these assurances. The US must approve the transfer of military aircraft to Ukraine from its allies.
The 11-nation alliance is starting to train Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16 fighter jets in Denmark this month.
Denmark’s Acting Defence Minister Trolls Poulsen said in July. That the country hopes to see “results” of the training as early as 2024.
NATO members Denmark and the Netherlands are leading international efforts to train pilots. As well as support staff, maintain aircraft, and enable Ukraine to use F-16s in its war with Russia. are
Secretary of State Antony Blanken has sent letters to his Danish and Dutch counterparts assuring them. That the requests will be granted, the US official said.
In a letter written to both officials, Antony Blanken said, “I am expressing the full support of the United States. For the delivery of F-16 aircraft to Ukraine and for the training of Ukrainian pilots by qualified instructors.”
“It is important that Ukraine is able to defend itself against Russian aggression and violations of its sovereignty,” he said.
He said approving the applications would give Ukraine “an opportunity to take full advantage of its new capabilities” as soon as the pilots complete their training.
Ukraine has long requested the latest warplanes to give it a combat edge as it counters a Russian invasion.
The decision was reverse by the Biden administration after more than a year of refusing to approve the transfer of planes or train pilots in Ukraine.
US officials had opposed the delivery of the F-16s on the grounds that flying, training, and transporting such advanced fighter jets would be difficult and would take months.