F-16 Fighter Jets Now On Their Way To Ukraine, White House Says


F-16 Fighter Jets Now On Their Way To Ukraine, White House Says

American-made F-16 fighters jets are currently on their way to Ukraine, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Wednesday during a NATO public forum of the alliance’s annual summit being hosted in Washington D.C. President Biden confirmed alongside European allies that “The transfer process for these F-16s is now under way.”

The program has been one year in the making, which has included training Ukrainian pilots at sites on US soil and in Europe. “Those jets will be flying in the skies of Ukraine this summer, to make sure that Ukraine can continue to effectively defend itself against the Russian aggression,” Blinken said further.

Via Reuters

Additionally a joint statement from partner countries in the program, Denmark and The Netherlands, said specifics and details are being withheld for “operational security.”

The first of more than 60 American-made F-16 jet fighters are on their way to Ukraine and will be flying later this summer,” the allies said.

It was only in May that the first batch of pilots graduated from a US training program. Earlier reports disclosed that they are being trained at Air Forces bases in San Antonio, TX – and in Arizona.

The announcement which comes on the second day of the NATO summit strongly signals the alliance is digging its heels in and looking for a fight.

Monday saw one of the biggest Russian aerial attacks on Ukraine in months. The assault involved at least 40 missiles and Russia has been widely accused of attacking Kiev’s largest children’s hospital. Monday’s strikes killed dozens and injured more than 170 across the country.

The Kremlin has claimed, however, that it was a Ukrainian anti-air missile which fell on the hospital, and highlighted that it’s being used as a “provocation” close in time to world leaders gathering for the NATO summit.

As for the F-16s, Russia has repeatedly vowed that it will not only shoot them out of the skies, but might attack any external base near Ukraine’s borders hosting them. 

For example, in March President Putin vowed while visiting a pilot training base, “We will destroy their warplanes just as we destroy their tanks, armored vehicles and other equipment, including multiple rocket launchers.”

A recent slip-up by NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg…

Stoltenberg slips up and admits NATO pilots will be flying F-16s. This is so easy. pic.twitter.com/EqefO38OIJ

— Canadian Prepper (@PrepperCanadian) June 17, 2024

Significantly, Putin had upped the ante given he made clear that even bases in Western countries could be targeted if Ukraine flies sorties from them. “Of course, if they are used from airfields of third countries, they become a legitimate target for us, wherever they are located,” he had said.

Meanwhile, Ukraine plans to base at least some of the jets at allied bases outside its territory, on fears that the F-16s will be the first assets targeted by superior Russian aerial forces. Russia has effectively controlled the skies throughout the whole course of the conflict, and Kiev has a steep uphill battle if its hopes to regain control no matter how many Western-supplied jets it possesses.

Tyler Durden
Wed, 07/10/2024 – 12:05