Jonas Jar Store, Fighter | Støre confirms that Norway will supply F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine

Jonas Jar Store, Fighter |  Støre confirms that Norway will supply F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine

– We aim to provide them, but the number of aircraft and how to distribute them in stages, we have to discuss that with Ukraine and our allies. But Ukraine can count on Norway to make a contribution, says Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Storr (AFP) to Ukraine’s NTB.

Arriving in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev on Thursday, and in a meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky, Store announced that Norway had plans to donate the F-16s.

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Comprehensive assessment

The news comes after Denmark and the Netherlands both announced donations last week. This happened after the producing country, the United States, gave the green light. Denmark said it will provide 19 aircraft, while the Netherlands has not yet mentioned the number of aircraft it will provide.

After the United States opened the door for European countries with F-16s to donate to Ukraine, we did a thorough evaluation of them, says Storr.

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Sales to Romania

Norway has 57 F-16s, but is in the process of transitioning to the new F35s. 32 F-16s have already been sold to Romania, and Norway originally planned to sell 12 to the United States. Store says the latest agreement has now been dropped. But the agreement with Romania remains firm.

– This means that one of our allies in an important part of Europe can benefit from these planes, says the Prime Minister.

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Between five and ten planes

It is not a given that all of Norway’s remaining F-16s will go to Ukraine.

– The details and the number must be discussed, it is only a matter of the condition of these structures and their contents. “This needs to be clarified before we can give that number,” Storr says.

He says the number is probably between five and 10, and maybe closer to five than ten.

The other European F-16s were provided on the condition that Ukraine train its pilots, which could likely happen before the New Year at the earliest.

For now, Storr won’t say anything about the time horizon for the Norwegian donation.

(© NTB)

Jabori Obasanjo

Jabori Obasanjo

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