Monday 15 July, 2024

Norway will donate F-16s to Ukraine later this year

Norway’s Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre has stated that Norway plans to begin delivering F-16 fighter aircraft to the Ukrainian Air Force later this year.

In 2023, the Norwegian government made a decision to provide Ukraine with six F-16 fighter aircraft to help the country defend itself against Russian attacks. Norway’s decision to donate the F-16s was announced by Prime Minister Støre in Kyiv on Ukraine’s Independence Day.

This decision was made under the framework of the Air Force Capability Coalition (AFCC) led by Denmark, the Netherlands, and the United States. Norway is also supporting Ukraine by contributing to fighter pilot training and planning expertise under the AFCC.   

Prime Minister Støre said: “Ukraine’s ability to defend itself against air attacks is crucial in its battle against Russia. Norway has now decided to donate six F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. We plan to start delivering the aircraft in the course of 2024.”

“Russia has been attacking Ukraine by air since the start of the war. These attacks have caused great suffering among the Ukrainian population and led to extensive material damage. Combined with air defence systems, the fighter jets will be vital to enabling the Ukrainians to defend themselves against Russian air attacks. Norway has taken part in the training of Ukrainian fighter pilots in Denmark since autumn 2023, and will continue to support training activities moving forward.”

The Royal Norwegian Air Force phased out its F-16s in 2021 following 42 years of service in connection with the phase-in of its new F-35 multirole combat aircraft.

The coalition countries are contributing aircraft to Ukraine, along with efforts to ensure the provision of weapons and ammunition for the fighter jets. As Ukrainian pilots and support personnel continue their training, more aircraft will be supplied by the coalition partners.

The demand for weapons for the aircraft will rise in line with the increasing number of F-16s in the Ukrainian Air Force. The coordination of weapons supply, aircraft maintenance, and support will be managed through multinational cooperation. Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, the UK, and Norway are all actively participating in this initiative.

Neil Ritchie
Neil Ritchie
Neil Ritchie is the founder and editor of DefenceToday.com. Neil is also the editor of other online publications covering military history, defence and security. He can be found on Twitter: @NeilRitchie86.

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