The White House has promised to resolve the issue of F-16 fighter deliveries to Ukraine in the coming months
USA will join Allied efforts to train Ukrainian pilots on fourth-generation fighters, including the F-16, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said. According to him, during the training, the coalition will decide which countries will supply Ukraine with military aircraft.
“As preparations continue in the coming months, we will work with our allies to determine when the aircraft will be delivered, by whom and in what quantity,” Sullivan said.
He added that the F-16s can be transferred to Ukraine only on the condition that they will not be used for attacks on Russian territory.
Sullivan, however, made it clear that fighters were not a priority when it came to Ukraine’s urgent needs. He noted that at this stage the US provided “everything necessary for the Armed Forces of Ukraine to launch a counter-offensive “this summer”, namely tanks, artillery and armored vehicles.
On the eve of Joe Biden’s administration, after months of deliberation, he gave the green light to deliveries of military aircraft to Kiev, which are in service with NATO countries. The inclusion of the White House enabled the allies to transfer American F-16 fighters to Ukraine.
Four EU countries and Norway have already indicated their readiness to deliver these aircraft to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Great Britain announced the start of work international coalition for training Ukrainian pilots on fourth-generation fighters. It also included the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Portugal.
According to the British International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), these countries are able to provide at least 125 F-16 fighters in full combat readiness.
Western countries have already decided to transfer the F-16 to Ukraine, said Mikhail Podoliak, adviser to the head of the president’s office. According to him, “issues of logistical commissioning are currently being resolved.”
In turn, Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said that Ukrainian pilots “are looking forward to starting training on F-16 fighters.” According to media reports, it will take place in Europe.