Biden supports providing F-16 training to Ukrainian pilots

As a major step toward strengthening Kyiv’s air force against Russian forces, U.S. President Joe Biden has expressed his support for a cooperative initiative with G7 allies to train Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has endorsed this action and praised the U.S. commitment, which would involve training taking place in Europe over the upcoming months.

The training program is scheduled to start in the coming weeks, and it will likely take 18 months to complete before the F-16s are delivered. Ukraine is looking for the Lockheed Martin jets because they are much more efficient than the fighters it now uses, which are from the Soviet era. Which nations will take part in this endeavor and when the jets will be provided are still unknown.

The announcement coincides with Ukraine’s campaign against Russian invaders and its effort to strengthen its air defenses. However, Western governments have taken care to avoid endangering their own countries by providing excessive equipment or inciting Moscow to expand the conflict.

In a tweet, Prime Minister Rutte expressed appreciation for the American decision and reaffirmed that “Ukraine can count on the unwavering support of the Netherlands and its international partners.”

This support is strengthened even further by promises from the UK and the Netherlands to help Ukraine build a “jets coalition,” albeit no firm commitment to provide aircraft has been made.

Previously, France and UK announced training for Ukrainian pilots.

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