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Denmark to help train Ukrainian F-16 pilots: minister

AFP
AFP - [email protected]
Denmark to help train Ukrainian F-16 pilots: minister
Denmark's defence minister announced on Friday that the country would assist in the training of Ukrainian pilots on the F-16 fighter jet, which is manufactured in the United States. Photo by Daniel Diemer on Unsplash

Denmark will help train Ukrainian pilots on the US-made F-16 fighter jet, the country's defence minister said Friday, after Washington said it would back such an initiative.

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The Scandinavian country "will now be able to move forward for a collective contribution to train Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16s", said acting Defence Minister Troels Lund Poulsen.

Denmark will make a priority of working with its allies to support the scheme, he added, hailing Biden's decision to approve the plan.

Lund Poulsen did not say if Denmark would be among those countries delivering the fighter jets to Ukraine.

Denmark's airforce has some 40 F-16s, around 30 of which are operational.

It recently began taking delivery of the more recent F-35 fighters.

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President Biden commits to additional support

US President Joe Biden told G7 leaders that Washington would support providing advanced warplanes, including F-16s, to Ukraine and will back efforts to train Kyiv's pilots, a senior White House official said Friday.

The US move signals a major breakthrough for Kyiv, which has repeatedly - and until recently unsuccessfully - pushed its Western supporters to agree to provide high-tech jets as it fights to fend off Russia's invasion.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky - who is set to meet Biden during the G7 summit in Japan - hailed the move as a "historic decision," adding that he looked forward to "discussing the practical implementation" of the plan in Hiroshima.

Biden said the United States "will support a joint effort with our allies and partners to train Ukrainian pilots on fourth-generation fighter aircraft, including F-16s, to further strengthen and improve the capabilities of the Ukrainian Air Force," according to the official.

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