It has been reported that Ukraine is preparing to receive 12 to 18 US F-16 fighter jets. The Western Allies probably won't transport warplanes one at a time, but will send an entire Squadron at once.
Specifically, the list of countries that will join the "coalition" includes Great Britain, the USA, the Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark.
The main roles of each coalition member are pretty clear from this list. In particular, the transfer of aircraft from Great Britain is unlikely as the Royal Air Force simply does not have F-16s. In turn, the US has already officially announced that it will not hand over the aircraft. At the same time, London is at least responsible for the initial training of pilots, and without the United States, the re-export of F-16s would be impossible.
The role of Denmark and the Netherlands, as donors of the fighters themselves, is indicated by the fact that the decision on the transfer of the F-16 was already discussed at an official level in Denmark, and the issue of the possibility of transferring the aircraft was considered in the Netherlands at the beginning of the year . For these countries, the transfer of some of the F-16s is not a critical threat to the defense capabilities, because they have already started receiving the F-35 to replace the F-16.
Thus, at the moment, the F-16 fleet of Denmark and the Netherlands remain the most likely fighters for Ukraine.
Germany provides airports for training
Germany has added to the long list of countries, as it has announced that it is ready to provide airfields for the training of Ukrainian F-16 fighter pilots.
This is what Agnes Zimmermann, President of the Bundestag Defense Committee, said in an interview with the German newspaper Bild.
He noted that the German military has never been armed with American-made F-16 fighters, so German instructors cannot train Ukrainian pilots to fly these aircraft. But Germany can provide its airports as places where training will take place. This will be a possible German contribution to the training of Ukrainian Air Force personnel.
"We've never had an F-16, but we can provide airfields in Germany as a hub or offer basic training for pilots who have so far only flown MiGs," he said.
F-16 fighters as part of the current counterattack?
Reports of a possible transfer of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine have probably already become a reality. This opinion was expressed by military expert Boris Pontoprygora, commenting for Pravda.Ru on the recent statement of Ukrainian President Zelensky about "strong" deliveries of fighter aircraft.
According to the analyst, the training of pilots of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (APU) to control these aircraft has started since the fall of 2022.
However, he stresses that airmanship training and military skills are two different things. So far, according to him, everything indicates that deliveries could indeed be made. But the very fact of the presence of fighters and trained pilots is not yet a guarantee for the successful completion of combat missions.
The expert also added that if fighters are obtained, Ukraine will likely use them in a summer counterattack. He emphasized that the main thing is not the official availability of equipment and pilots, but their effective use on the battlefield.