Belgium Commits €100 Million to Support F-16 Maintenance for Ukraine

by Cheplyk Roman
Friday, March 29, 2024
Belgium Commits €100 Million to Support F-16 Maintenance for Ukraine

Belgium has announced a significant contribution of €100 million to aid Ukraine in the maintenance of F-16 fighters, as stated by Belgian Defense Minister Ludvin Dedonder

This financial support marks the 25th aid package Belgium has extended to Ukraine, reflecting the country's ongoing commitment to assisting Ukraine amidst the conflict.

The allocated funds are designated for the maintenance and support of the F-16 aircraft, essential for Ukraine's air defense capabilities. The initiative to supply F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine has been a collaborative effort involving multiple countries. Previously, Foreign Policy reported that the first F-16s are expected to arrive in Ukraine around June 2024, although specific timelines have been challenging to pinpoint.

In a landmark move, the Netherlands and Denmark pledged to transfer a total of 61 American F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine in August 2023, following approval from the United States. Norway and Belgium have also committed to supplying F-16s to Ukraine, with Belgium's contributions scheduled to commence in 2025.

The Netherlands has already begun preparations to transfer an initial set of 18 aircraft, subsequently increasing their commitment to 24 jets, culminating in a total promise of 42 fighter jets to Ukraine.

Ukrainian pilots are currently undergoing training in various partner countries to operate the F-16s proficiently. The UK government recently reported that the first group of 10 Ukrainian pilots completed their preliminary flight, ground, and language training in Great Britain. These pilots will now advance to more complex flight training sessions conducted by the French Air Force.

Furthermore, during a meeting with Danish Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen, Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov appealed for Denmark's support in financing further training for Ukrainian F-16 pilots, highlighting the international collaboration in bolstering Ukraine's defense efforts against the backdrop of ongoing hostilities.

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