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Ukraine conflict: Netherlands pledges multimillion-euro F-16 weapons, UAV package for Kyiv

A file photo of a Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16. The Dutch government has said it will provide EUR150 million in weapons for the F-16s to be transferred to Ukraine, as part of a wider aid package valued at EUR350 million. (US Department of Defense)

The Netherlands has pledged a multimillion-euro aid package to Ukraine comprising weapons for the soon-to-be-delivered Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon combat aircraft, as well as providing intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

The more than EUR350 million (USD381 million) package was announced by Dutch Defence Minister Kajsa Ollongren following a meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG) on 20 March.

“The Netherlands will purchase more than EUR150 million in ammunition for the F-16s that will go to Ukraine. This ammunition is purchased directly from the industry. The Netherlands is also investing more than EUR200 million in the purchase of new ISR drones for Ukraine, together with partner countries,” Ollongren said.

The minister's comments coincided with the delivery of further former Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) F-16s to the European F-16 Training Center in Romania. The Netherlands has said it will make available 18 F-16s for pilot and maintainer training in Romania, in addition to 24 F-16s that will be given to the Ukrainian Air Force for combat operations. An undisclosed number of these operational jets are now being made ready for transfer to Ukraine, the Dutch Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.

The Netherlands is contributing F-16s to Ukraine as part of the wider ‘F-16 coalition' that also comprises Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

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