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(134,143 posts)
Mon Jun 10, 2024, 12:05 PM Jun 10

Ukraine's air force may keep F-16 warplanes abroad to protect them from Russia [View all]

Source: ABC News/AP

June 10, 2024, 6:01 AM

KYIV, Ukraine -- Ukraine may keep some of the F-16 fighter jets it's set to receive from its Western allies at foreign bases to protect them from Russian strikes, a senior Ukrainian military officer said Monday.

Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway have committed to providing Ukraine with over 60 U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets to help it fend off Russian attacks. Ukrainian pilots are currently undergoing training to fly the warplanes ahead of the deliveries expected to start later this year.

Serhii Holubtsov, head of aviation within Ukraine’s air force, said that "a certain number of aircraft will be stored at secure air bases outside of Ukraine so that they are not targeted here.”

Holubtsov told the U.S. government-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty that those F-16s could be used to replace damaged aircraft as they undergo repairs as well as for training Ukrainian pilots abroad. “This way, we can always have a certain number of aircraft in the operational fleet that corresponds to the number of pilots we have," he said. "If there are more pilots, there will be more aircraft in Ukraine.”

Read more: https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/ukraines-air-force-16-warplanes-abroad-protect-russian-110976201

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