By Catherine McGeer •
Published: 04 Jan 2024 • 7:00
F-16 Fighter Jet
Image: Shutterstock/Ali _Cobanoglu
IN a concerted effort to bolster Ukraine’s air force capabilities amidst ongoing conflict with Russia, Norway has announced the dispatch of two F-16 fighter jets to Denmark. This move aims to contribute to the training of Ukrainian pilots in the operation of the U.S.-manufactured aircraft, as confirmed by the Norwegian defence minister on Wednesday January 3.
Norway’s involvement in this initiative follows an earlier commitment, where it joined Denmark, the Netherlands, and other nations in pledging aircraft donations to Ukraine. The F-16s have remained a significant requirement on Ukraine’s wish list to enhance its air force capabilities in the face of escalating tensions with Russia.
Defence Minister Bjoern Arild Gram stated in a release that Norway has already dispatched ten instructors to Denmark to assist in the education and training of Ukrainian pilots. This strategic cooperation comes at a time when Norway’s own air force has transitioned from F-16s to the newer F-35 model.
Reports from December 2023 highlighted the progress made by Ukrainian pilots who completed basic training with the UK Royal Air Force and are currently undergoing further training on F-16s in Denmark. Moreover, recent developments indicated France’s commitment to join in training Ukrainian pilots on Western fighter jets from 2024 onwards.
Other countries have also stepped up their support, with Romania inaugurating an F-16 training centre in collaboration with the Netherlands to aid in Ukrainian pilot training.
In a show of solidarity and support, Denmark’s Ambassador to Ukraine, Ole Egberg Mikkelsen, visited a district in Kyiv affected by a recent missile attack. In a recorded video address, Mikkelsen conveyed his condolences to the affected residents and extended gratitude to Ukraine’s armed forces, rescue workers, medical staff, and various essential service providers for their tireless efforts during the attacks.
The ambassador reaffirmed Denmark’s commitment to standing by Ukraine in its struggle for freedom, emphasising the shared value of freedom for all citizens, both in Ukraine and beyond.
While tensions continue to escalate, Denmark has taken a notable step to reinvigorate its arms industry by reclaiming the Krudten ammunition plant. Amid an increasing demand for Western weapons due to the conflict in Ukraine and concerns over Russia’s burgeoning arms industry, Denmark’s move aims to contribute to the growing need for arms production across Europe.
The decision to repurchase the Krudten plant signals a broader European effort to ramp up weapons manufacturing to counterbalance Russia‘s expanding military capabilities. The hope is to revitalise the state-owned factory, leveraging private-sector partnerships to meet the rising demand for ammunition production.
As Ukraine braces for potential weapon shortages in the coming months, European nations, including Denmark, are intensifying efforts to ensure sustained support for Ukraine’s defence capabilities in the face of the ongoing conflict.
The situation remains fluid, with NATO countries exploring various avenues to reinforce Ukraine’s defence and confront the challenges posed by Russia’s formidable military advancements.
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I am an Irish writer who has been living in Spain for the past twenty years. My writing centers around the Costa Cálida. As a mother I also write about family life on the coast of Spain and every now and then I try to break down the world of Spanish politics!
Stop promoting war as if it is a good thing, if the politicians were on the front lines for 1 minute the wars would stop when they saw the horrors death and pain , not one brother sister son daughter should be killed in such a barbaric way for the greedy elites.
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