US greenlights F-16 exports to Kyiv after pilot training course completed

Washington has officially confirmed that Ukraine will receive US-made F-16 fighter jets from Denmark and the Netherlands after Ukrainian pilots complete their training programmes, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said as quoted by The Guardian.

“What we did this week is formalised through a letter from Secretary Blinken to his counterparts in Europe, that upon the completion of that training, the United States would be prepared in consultation with Congress to approve third party transfer of F 16 aircraft to Ukraine,” he said.

NL Times reports that the pilots are expected to finish the course in summer 2024 at the earliest. Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra welcomed the US decision online. His Danish counterpart Lars Løkke Rasmussen told Danish TV2 that he and the Danish defence minister had appealed to the US to “study their capabilities”.

The Danish Defence Ministry earlier reported that the F-16 training course for Ukrainian pilots would begin in late August. In July, Danish Defence Minister Jakob Ellemann-Jensen expressed hope to see the “results” of the programme already in early 2024. In total, 11 countries will contribute to the training.

The Washington Post reported earlier that Ukrainian pilots would only start training in January 2024 because they first require four-month long English language courses, while the jet training would take six months.

Being the F-16 manufacturer, the US must greenlight all re-exports of the fighter jets.

Editor in chief — Kirill Martynov. Terms of use. Privacy policy.