Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren has announced that her ministry is preparing to send six more F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.
Ollongren reported this on Twitter (X). Thus, the total number of aircraft that the Netherlands has promised to transfer to Ukraine has increased to 24, the minister said.
“Ukraine’s air superiority is necessary to counter Russian aggression,” Ollongren explained.
In a separate statement, the Dutch Ministry of Defense noted that the country has stopped discussing the possible sale of six F-16 fighter jets with Draken International. Both parties came to the conclusion that the sale and delivery of these F-16s would not take place in the short term.
On December 22, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced that his country had decided to begin preparations for the transfer of the first 18 F-16 fighters to Ukraine.
The Netherlands also announced that it would send 18 F-16s to Romania to train Ukrainian pilots.
The Netherlands has 42 F-16s in service but no longer needs them as the country is switching to more modern F-35s.
Earlier, Kajsa Ollongren called 2024 the realistic date for the transfer of fighter jets to Ukraine.
Ollongren noted that the Netherlands will transfer almost all F-16s to Ukraine, except for those that will be used to train Ukrainian pilots.