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Ukraine conflict: Norway joins Denmark, Netherlands in pledging F-16s to Kyiv

Norway has joined Denmark and the Netherlands in pledging F-16s for Ukraine. (Janes/Patrick Allen)

Norway has joined Denmark and the Netherlands in pledging the transfer of Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon combat aircraft to Kyiv.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gar Støre made the offer during a 24 August meeting in Kyiv with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky.

We plan to transfer Norwegian F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, and will provide further information on the transfer, quantity, and delivery time in due course,” Støre said.

The Royal Norwegian Air Force (RoNAF) has 57 F-16AM/BM Block 15 mid-life upgrade (MLU) airframes in its inventory, which it retired from operational use in January 2022. Of these, 32 have been sold to Romania while a further 12 were earmarked for Draken International. This latter deal was not finalised, and it is these aircraft that are likely destined for Ukraine.

The Norwegian announcement came days after Denmark and the Netherlands said on 20 August that they would transfer F-16s that were being retired from their respective air forces.

The Royal Danish Air Force (RDAF) maintains around 40 F-16AM/BM Block 15 MLU aircraft, including some in storage, while the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) has 24 F-16AMs updated to the same MLU standard that provides for an analogous capability to the US Air Force's F-16C/D Block 50/52 aircraft. This 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.

Between them, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Norway could supply Ukraine with 76 F-16 fighters. Neither the Norwegian nor the joint Danish and Dutch announcements provided a timeline for the transfer of aircraft to Ukraine.

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