Norway had first announced its plans to support the training of Ukrainian personnel on F-16 fighter jets in May…reports Asian Lite News
Norway has become the third European nation after Denmark and the Netherlands to pledge to provide Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets.
“We are planning to donate Norwegian F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, and will provide further details about the donation, numbers and time frame for delivery in due course,” CNN quoted Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store as saying on Thursday.
Norway had first announced its plans to support the training of Ukrainian personnel on F-16 fighter jets in May.
“Norway is supporting Ukraine in its efforts to build a modern air defense system. This is both important and necessary,” the Prime Minister added.
Also on Thursday, Norway said that it will be donating anti-aircraft missiles and de-mining sets to Ukraine, as well as 1.5 billion NOK ($140.5 million) to secure gas and electricity supply in the country.
This brings the total value of Norway’s support over five years to 75 billion NOK, a statement on the government website said.
Last week, a US State Department spokesman had announced that Washington approved the transfer of American-made F-16 fighter jets from Denmark and the Netherlands to Kiev as soon as Ukrainian pilots are fully trained to operate them.
Denmark and the Netherlands have taken the lead in preparing a program to train Ukrainian pilots on the American jet, but the US is still working with other countries to see who may provide F-16s to the Ukrainian Air Force.
While the Dutch are thought to have about 24 operational F-16s which are scheduled to be taken out of service and replaced by more advanced war planes, Denmark is also planning an upgrade of its fleet of some 30 F-16s.
An 11-member coalition of Ukraine’s allies in the West is due to start training Ukrainian pilots later this month and they are expected to be ready next year.
Ukraine is believed to have dozens of combat aircraft — mostly MiGs — all dating from the Soviet era.