Approval for training Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter aircraft has been granted, raising expectations of receiving a fleet, although potential donor countries are hesitant to make further commitments.
The US has given approval for training Ukrainian pilots on fourth-generation fighter aircraft, raising expectations of receiving a fleet of F-16s. However, countries like the Netherlands, Belgium, and Denmark, which are potential donors, have only committed to assisting with pilot training and are hesitant to make further promises. The pattern of gradually escalating Western assistance to Ukraine has been seen before, with the US often taking the first step followed by a coalition of European nations. The decision-making process is slow due to political and technical considerations, including a lack of surplus F-16s and the need for training and logistics. While the training is expected to take several months, it is not viewed as an immediate game changer on the battlefield. The possibility of Ukraine receiving F-16s depends on factors such as political decisions and the progress of the conflict.