Ukraine says it will receive F-16 fighter jets in 6-7 months

Ukraine says it will receive F-16 fighter jets in 6-7 months

'But if it is a little more, do not be disappointed, because our pilots have demonstrated their ability to be ready in 6 months,' says defense minister

By Burc Eruygur

ISTANBUL (AA) - Ukraine said Tuesday it will receive F-16s in six to seven months amid the Netherlands and Denmark’s commitment to transfer the fighter jets to the country.

“Objectively, without high expectations, I think that 6-7 months is the minimum period that must be consciously estimated. But if it is a little more, do not be disappointed, because our pilots have demonstrated their ability to be ready in six months," Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov told journalists, according to a video shared by We Are Ukraine television channel.

He said the F-16s are “just a platform” and the country needs to talk about weapons, missiles, shells and bombs that the F-16s will use and discuss preparations for infrastructure.

"This is a serious set of tasks and we have to teach several hundred people for the first birds in the Ukrainian sky,” said Reznikov.

Ukraine does not know yet about technicians and engineers because there are “very complex maintenance and repair systems,” he said.

“But I believe in one thing, our people are so talented that they overcame the ‘Patriots’ in 10 weeks instead of 10 months, the 155th artillery in three weeks instead of three months. Therefore, I am convinced that F-16s will be in Ukrainian skies to liberate Ukrainian territories,” he added.

Amsterdam and Copenhagen committed to giving F-16s to Ukraine on Sunday after the US approved those countries to deliver the fighter jets two days earlier.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy traveled to the Netherlands and Denmark to finalize the deals, during which he expressed that the two countries would send 42 and 19 F-16s, respectively.

Denmark and the Netherlands also play a leading role among Western countries in training Ukrainian pilots on the use of F-16s.​​​​​​​

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