According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, his country needs more fighter aircraft than partner countries have committed to so far. This was stated in an interview with Portuguese radio RTP. Fifty to sixty F-16s have been promised so far. But Zelensky says: “In total, we need about 160 combat aircraft for a powerful air force that can deprive Russia of dominance in the skies.”
The promised F-16s come from the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway. In the Netherlands there are 42 countries where you may be able to go to Kiev, Denmark nineteen and Norway twelve. It is unclear exactly how much each country will provide. More NATO member states are currently replacing F-16s with the more modern F-35 and can therefore send older aircraft to Ukraine.
Zelensky expressed his expectation that the promised combat aircraft could be deployed in Ukraine “early next year.” However, the path there is complicated, because not only pilots must be trained, but maintenance personnel must also be trained.
The Ukrainian president stressed that his country will not use warplanes to attack Russian territory. “We are fighting for our Ukrainian country, against the Russian invasion. We just need fighter planes to defend ourselves. To defend our land, sea and air.
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