The Hague: ‘Washington and European officials said on Friday that the US has given the green light to the Netherlands and Denmark to provide Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets. Ukraine, which is engaged in a war with Russia, has long sought advanced fighter aircraft to strengthen its position. However, officials said that it is not clear when Ukraine will be able to deploy the F-16s in combat, as Ukrainian pilots need at least six months of training to fly the jets. They also said that it would take ‘four or five years’ to make the F-16 squadron ready for battle, which may not give Ukraine much advantage in the war.
Ukrainian combat helicopter pilots in eastern Ukraine welcomed the news. They said that Russia has a strong air force, but better fighter jets could help Ukraine balance its power. Captain Yevgen Rakita, a spokesman for the 18th Army Aviation Brigade, said that the Ukrainian air force is using old Soviet-era planes that are no match for Russian fighters.’