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Ukraine conflict: Denmark begins F-16 training for Ukraine

The RDAF maintains around 40 F-16AM/BM Block 15 MLU aircraft that could be utilised by Ukraine. (Terma)

Denmark has commenced the training of Ukrainian pilots on the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon combat aircraft, the defence minister for the Scandinavian country announced on 25 June.

Speaking on national radio, Minister for Economic Affairs Troels Lund Poulsen said that a decision by the Danish government to bring forward the retirement of the F-16 in Royal Danish Air Force (RDAF) service by two years to 2025 had paved the way for Ukrainian crews to be trained on the type.

“[Denmark] has taken the step of starting a training and further education effort for the Ukrainian pilots. We will also consider whether we should make a concrete donation to Ukraine of the Danish F-16 fighters, and how many there should be,” Poulsen was quoted by the AP newswire as saying.

The RDAF had not responded to Janes request for confirmation and further information at the time of publication.

The RDAF maintains around 40 F-16AM/BM Block 15 aircraft that have been upgraded to the mid-life upgrade (MLU) standard, including some in storage. This MLU provides for an analogous capability to the US Air Force's Block 50/52 aircraft, and includes the carriage of the latest AIM-9 and AIM-120 air-to-air missiles, as well as the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM), and other air-to-surface munitions.

Poulsen's comments came about a month after US President Joe Biden said in May that he would allow the transfer of F-16s to Ukraine following repeated calls from that country's President Volodymyr Zelensky.

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