Belgium has pledged to transfer F-16 fighters to Ukraine in 2025, the press service of the Ukrainian defence ministry reported on December 5 on a Telegram channel. The day prior, Rustem Umerov, the defence minister of Ukraine, met with Ludvine Dedonder, the defence minister of Belgium.
The parties also deliberated on refining the supply chains for F-16 fighter ammunition, spare parts, and technical equipment. According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence, the total technical assistance provided by Belgium to the Ukrainian armed forces exceeds 320 million euros.
Dedonder had previously affirmed her preparedness to train Ukrainian pilots in the operation of F-16s in October but ruled out the possibility of supplying the aircraft to Kyiv. She explained this stance by asserting that the aircraft is actively used in the Baltic countries to protect the airspace of NATO countries and Belgium.
David Clarinval, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Kingdom, had stated that Belgium would look into the feasibility of transferring two to four aircraft to Kyiv in 2024.
Earlier, the Commander of the Ukrainian Air Force, Nikolai Oleshchuk, stated that preparations for Ukrainian runways, including the erection of protective structures and the reconstruction of airport infrastructure and runway surfaces, were already underway.
The Netherlands and Denmark initially agreed to supply Ukraine with F-16 fighter aircraft. The White House confirmed that Ukraine would receive combat aircraft from third-world countries after pilot training. According to Kajsa Ollongren, the Minister of Defence of the Netherlands, the initial delivery of F-16 fighters to Kyiv is anticipated in 2024. Additionally, she disclosed that the Netherlands plans to deploy 12–18 of these aircraft to Romania’s Ukrainian pilot training facility.