Belgium allocates €100m to maintain F-16s for Ukraine

Belgian authorities have allocated €100 million for the maintenance of US F-16 fighter jets, which Brussels is going to supply to Kyiv as part of an international coalition.

“The Council of Ministers approved the 25th aid package for Ukraine: €100 million will be allocated for the maintenance and support of F-16s as part of the international coalition”, Belgian Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder wrote on her social media page X.

Belgium intends to supply Ukraine with two F-16 aircraft as part of the coalition. The Belgian military is training Ukrainian pilots at a training center in Denmark.

In late February, it was reported that Copenhagen would supply Kyiv with the first batch of US F-16 fighter jets this summer. According to Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, the funds for the upcoming delivery of the combat aircraft are taken from a special fund for civil and military donations.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said that the Ukrainian Armed Forces will be able to strike Russian territory with F-16 fighter jets when they are delivered.

According to him, each ally of Ukraine will decide independently whether to transfer the fighter jets to Kyiv or not. However, the Ukrainian army will be able to use all the delivered F-16s in self-defense, which includes attacks on legitimate Russian military targets outside Ukraine.

For his part, “Russian President” Vladimir Putin said that the F-16 fighter jets would become a legitimate target for Russia if they were used against the Russian army from airfields of third countries.

The Netherlands, Denmark and Norway promised to transfer US fighter jets to Ukraine last summer. The Netherlands can provide Kyiv with 18 combat aircraft, while Denmark can provide 19. Norway did not specify how many F-16s it was ready to supply to the AFU. The US has also pledged to approve the transfer of the planes immediately after the completion of pilot training.

Yurii Ignat, speaker of the Ukrainian Air Force, noted that the situation on the battlefield could be changed by two squadrons of F-16s with 12 each. “The F-16 is capable of protecting Ukraine from missile terror, driving away Russian ships and Russian aviation, and gaining air superiority”, he emphasized.

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