Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongre said the F-16 multirole fighters from the Netherlands would arrive in Ukraine “soon” in a letter to the Dutch parliament, dated July 1.

Ollongre said the “required permit for the export of military equipment to Ukraine has been issued” but refused to disclose delivery details due to security concerns, adding that the parliament would be “informed confidentially about the progress” in due course. 

“On December 22, 2023 and February 5, 2024, your House was informed about developments regarding the preparation and delivery of 24 Dutch F-16s to Ukraine. In addition to the previous update on deliveries of military goods to Ukraine on June 13.

“I inform you, also on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, that the first aircraft will soon be delivered,” the letter read.

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Earlier, Dutch Air Force Commander General Arnu Stallman said he expected F-16 fighters to be operational in Ukraine this summer.

In May, Belgium also committed to delivering 30 F-16s to Ukraine by 2028, starting at the end of this year. However, it prohibited the use of its F-16s against targets inside Russia, whereas the Dutch did not.

In total, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Norway have committed to supplying Ukraine with approximately 80 US-made F-16 fighters, or about three squadrons of aircraft.

Ukrainians Capture Russia’s Multi-Million Dollar T-90 Tank in Eastern Sector
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Ukrainians Capture Russia’s Multi-Million Dollar T-90 Tank in Eastern Sector

The Russian T-90 crew abandoned the tank, “a hi-tech weapon system based on a century-long experience” which Putin considers the Kremlin’s most advanced, and then fled the battlefield.

Despite the initial plan, the program faced delays due to delivery and training challenges. Training for both pilots and ground personnel has proven to be a complex process.

According to an official from the Ukrainian Air Force, some of the F-16s would likely be “stored at secure air bases, outside of Ukraine” to prevent Russian strikes. Russian President Vladimir Putin then claimed at the time that those countries would become a “legitimate target” for Moscow accordingly. 

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