It is likely that the Netherlands will supply F-16s to Ukraine, Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren hinted on Friday after the regular weekly Council of Ministers meeting on Friday. The Netherlands has already promised to train Ukrainian pilots in the aircraft “and then you assume that Ukraine will also fly with the F-16 at some point. That still requires a separate decision.”
Earlier, news agency Bloomberg reported on the basis of anonymous sources that the Netherlands will probably supply the aircraft.
The Netherlands is now making the switch to the F-35, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter. According to Ollongren, the F-16s will eventually be available. She did emphasize, however, that a decision still has to be taken by the countries that are working together.
he Netherlands is working closely with Denmark, Belgium and the United Kingdom in this area. Norway, Poland and Portugal have now also joined the alliance.
Pilots will first be trained in Denmark and then possibly at other locations. The minister could not say how many Dutch pilots will contribute to the training. It is also not known how long the training will last.
“We will have to find out a bit together. Ukraine will undoubtedly be able to send experienced pilots, but we have to see what they can do.”
Reporting by ANP