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NATO to Start F-16 Transfers to Ukraine

A Polish F-16. Polish Armed Forces
A Polish F-16. Polish Armed Forces

The United States joined three other NATO members in announcing that their governments have approved the transfer of F-16 fighter jets for use by the Ukrainian military as the embattled country continues its defense against Russia’s 2022 invasion.

The agreement, made by the Biden administration, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Norway, will help satisfy a request that Kiev has made for more than a year.

The decision comes as Belgium committed to deliver 30 of the aircraft under the condition that they would not be flown in Russian airspace.

Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, thanked the participants in a post on X, saying that the action will help his nation defend itself from "brutal Russian attacks, such as this week's strike on the Okhmatdyt children's hospital in Kyiv."

Ukraine will reportedly receive 79 of the advanced interceptors, in addition to assistance in pilot training. In an interview with AFP this past spring, Zelensky estimated that he would need as many as 130 to achieve parity with Russia’s air forces.

The first deliveries are expected to arrive later this summer.

Related Story: Putin Warns NATO That Bases with Ukrainian F-16s Are Legitimate Targets

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