Belgium will send 30 F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine in 2024

The news was jointly announced at a Saturday press conference by the country’s Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder.

The authorities in Brussels are accelerating their plans to support Ukraine with military jets – as initially it was determined that this would happen in 2025 at the earliest.

“Germany has recently made a very important decision to start supplying the Patriot systems for Ukraine – and NATO has indicated that we have more freedom with decisions on our military equipment. Because for instance giving Ukraine the fighter jets today has a greater safety return for us than keeping them to ourselves” – Alexander De Croo said speaking to the press on Friday, prior to the governmental debate and the official Saturday morning announcement.

“The situation is very difficult, and Ukraine needs our help immediately” – the Belgian government head went on during the Saturday press conference, explaining why the decision to send the F-16s sooner was made. “This way, we will take a big step to help Ukraine defend itself against increasingly intensifying Russian attacks” – Alexander De Croo emphasised.

Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder announced that four fighters will be delivered to Ukraine before the end of the year. “We will do this without compromising our own safety” – she emphasised. The Belgian Air Force has 45 F-16 aircraft, which the newer F-35 fighters will gradually replace.

The government in Brussels also decided yesterday to provide Ukraine with missiles for air defence systems and to allocate EUR 200 million to participate in the German initiative to supply the systems themselves.

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