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Ukraine’s F-16 training could begin in July, Danish defense minister signals

Ukraine’s F-16 training could begin in July, Danish defense minister signals

by host

Ukrainian pilots could start training on F-16 fighter jets in July, Denmark’s acting Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen indicated Tuesday.

“My expectation is that by the end of June, we’ll have it officially set up, so we can hopefully start after that,” Poulsen told reporters before a ministers’ meeting in Brussels.

“And then, it’s probably an effort that will take up to six months before we have the facilities in place so that we can fly F-16 fighter jets from Ukraine,” the minister added.

Kyiv has been pressing its Western allies to hand over modern fighter jets for months, stressing it needs them to boost its aging airforce and repel Russia’s full-scale invasion.

While several countries — such as the U.S., the Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark — have agreed to teach Ukrainian pilots how to fly the F-16s, none have committed to delivering the planes.

The Danish defense minister on Tuesday carefully steered clear from making any promises in that direction.

“It will only be in the fall that we’ll discuss a possible donation of F-16 fighter jets,” Poulsen said.

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