The United States has given its approval for Denmark and the Netherlands to transfer F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken sent an official approval letter to his counterpart from each country expressing the Biden administration’s support for the delivery.
“I am writing to express the United States’ full support for both the transfer of F-16 fighter aircraft to Ukraine and for the training of Ukrainian pilots by qualified F-16 instructors,” Blinken said in a letter seen by Reuters.
However, the delivery timeline hinges on the training for the six Ukrainian pilots tasked with operating the aircraft. According to reports from the Washington Post, the group of six handpicked Ukrainian pilots, already fluent in English, and several technicians will undergo a thorough training program to ensure their readiness for flying and servicing the F-16 jets.
The training comprises four months of technical proficiency in English and six months of operational training.
During the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania on July 11, 2023, eleven partner states signed a Memorandum outlining the terms of a coalition, spearheaded by Denmark and the Netherlands, to train the Ukrainian Air Force to fly the F-16, and to find solutions to deliver the aircraft to the country.