First batch of F-16 fighters to be delivered to Kyiv this summer

Belgian Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib told the Belgian broadcaster RTL on May 28 that her country will supply Ukraine with 30 F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft by 2028.

She added that the tirst of these aircraft should arrive already “by the end of the year.”

On May 28 Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky will visit Belgium on May 28 to sign a bilateral security agreement. Lahbib said that the agreement on F-16 fighter jets will be signed on the same day.

As reported by The Kyiv Independent, Belgium was among the first countries to join the coalition established in the summer of 2023 to bolster Ukraine’s Air Force. The initiative has been spearheaded by the US, Denmark, and the Netherlands.

Besides providing several F-16 fighter jets to Kyiv, Brussels will also help with the training for Ukrainian pilots in EU countries.

The Netherlands, Denmark, and Norway have also pledged to supply Ukraine with dozens of US-made fourth-generation jets.

In fact, the first batch of F-16s will be delivered to Ukraine this summer the Danish Defense Ministry announced earlier this year.

The F-16s will help Ukraine considerably

But will the F-16 effectively help Ukraine in the ongoing war against Russia?

Eric Wicklund, former US Navy Operations Specialist, explained on Quora;

‘I think the F-16 will help Ukraine considerably.

‘’“By itself,” the F-16s are not a war-winner, but as a “catalyst” that is critical for making Combined Arms techniques function properly, it’s going to make a significant difference.

US Navy EA-18G pilot explains why Ukraine should use F-16s just for SEAD missions and not for air-to-air missions
This print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. F-16CM Fighting Falcon – Wild Weasel 50th Anniversary, 2015

‘Whatever you think about the ex-Dutch, Belgian, Danish, and Norwegian F-16s, they are a far cry better than the aging ex-Soviet Su-27s and Mig-29s that Ukraine is flying now. Further, hardly anyone (in NATO) still stores their rusting ex-Soviet missiles and bombs for use on Ukraine’s elderly Soviet planes. They’re hard to find. Mostly, the ex-Warsaw Pact nations have thrown the weapons out.

‘It’s a testimony to Ukrainian skill and persistence that they’ve made their old Russian relics function at all.

‘By contrast, the NATO weapons that F-16s can use are far wider-ranging in capability, and much more common in weapons stores in NATO nations. Supplying weapons for F-16s will be orders of magnitude easier to get to Ukraine and many times more numerous.’

Russians’ claims

Instead Russians are claiming that F-16s won’t change anything.

Wicklund continues;

‘This is a standard Soviet/Russian tactic. It’s actually part of a standard process repeated again and again during this war. Take for instance, the HIMARS.

  • Step One: Russia claims the HIMARS will trigger nuclear war.
  • Step Two: Failing that, Russia claims they’ve destroyed all of them already.
  • Step Three: When videos prove the Russians lied about that: Russians insist they won’t make any difference anyway (See F-16).
  • Step Four: When HIMARS runs roughshod over Russian weapons/fuel depots…don’t say anything about it. Point out how Russia is a victim…in a war that Russia started.

‘These four steps are common to all bullies. When they see you planning to defend yourself, they tell you you’ll pay dearly for that. Then they tell you trying defend yourself is pointless. When you’re still unmoved, they claim they’ve got a way to negate anything you’ve learned. When the bully has a bloody nose, they claim they are being victimized.’

He concludes;

‘All bullies say the same bulls**t.’

F-16 model
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Photo credit: U.S. Air Force