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Wednesday February 21, 2024

Norway to send two F-16s to Denmark for Ukraine pilot training

By AFP
January 04, 2024

OSLO: Norway´s government said on Wednesday it would send two F-16 fighter jets to Denmark to help train Ukrainian pilots in the use of the planes, which are highly anticipated by Kyiv.

Last year, Norway, along with countries such as Denmark and the Netherlands, that it would be donating F-16s -- that had been retired to be replaced with the more modern F-35 -- to Ukraine.

Norways Minister of Defense, Bjørn Arild Gram, sits in the back of an F16 aircraft at Bodø airport, Norway, on January 3, 2024. — AFP
Norway's Minister of Defense, Bjørn Arild Gram, sits in the back of an F16 aircraft at Bodø airport, Norway, on January 3, 2024. — AFP

However, Oslo has yet to announce either the number of F-16s to be donated -- expected to be just a handful -- or a delivery schedule.

“Allied partners and states will work day and night with the goal of establishing a lasting and modern air force for Ukraine,” Norway´s Defence Minister Bjorn Arild Gram said in a statement.

The Scandinavian country is already supplying training personnel, with around 10 instructors.

The Norwegian F-16s will be deployed, for an as of yet undetermined period, to the Danish Skrydstrup air base -- where Ukrainian pilots are trained as part a multinational operation.

In his New Year´s address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the country´s “pilots are already mastering F-16 jets, and we will definitely see them in our skies,” as he vowed that Russian forces would feel Ukraine´s “wrath” in 2024.