Government of Norway

07/10/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/10/2024 06:06

Norway will donate F-16s to Ukraine this year

'Ukraine's ability to defend itself against air attacks is crucial in its battle against Russia. Norway has now decided to donate six F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. We plan to start delivering the aircraft in the course of 2024,' said Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre. Norway has joined a number of other countries in providing Ukraine with access to F-16 fighter aircraft, which are crucial to enabling the country to defend itself against the attacks by Russian forces.

In 2023, the Government decided to donate a number of F-16s to Ukraine under the framework of the Air Force Capability Coalition (AFCC) led by Denmark, the Netherlands and the United States. The Prime Minister announced Norway's decision last year in Kyiv, on Ukraine's Independence Day.

Training

'Russia has been attacking Ukraine by air since the start of the war. These attacks have caused great suffering among the Ukrainian population and led to extensive material damage. Combined with air defence systems, the fighter jets will be vital to enabling the Ukrainians to defend themselves against Russian air attacks. Norway has taken part in the training of Ukrainian fighter pilots in Denmark since autumn 2023, and will continue to support training activities moving forward,' said Prime Minister Støre.

Norway phased out its F-16s in 2021 in connection with the phase-in of its new F-35 multirole combat aircraft. Thirty-two F-16s have been sold to Romania.

'We must continue to support Ukraine's fight to defend itself against Russia's war of aggression. Ukraine's battle is our battle as well. It is a battle not just to safeguard Ukraine's freedom, but also to safeguard our common values, democracy and respect for international law,' said Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide.

'Both President Zelensky and Minister for Foreign Affairs Kuleba have repeatedly expressed their deep appreciation of Norway's support to Ukraine's air defence, and have stated explicitly that these aircraft will play a crucial role in their ability to defend their right to freedom and sovereignty,' said Mr Eide.

Norway is supporting Ukraine by contributing to fighter pilot training and planning expertise under the AFCC.

'Norway greatly values Denmark's leadership and willingness to host the training of Ukrainian personnel and pilots at Skrydstrup air base. The establishment of what can be considered a Western air combat force for Ukraine is an ambitious undertaking that will require a great deal of effort in the years ahead,' said Minister of Defence Bjørn Arild Gram.

Increased need for F-16 weapons

The countries in the coalition are donating aircraft to Ukraine, and efforts are also being made to ensure that Ukraine is provided with weapons and ammunition for the fighter jets. As more Ukrainian pilots and support personnel complete their training, the partners in the coalition will provide Ukraine with more aircraft.

The need for weapons for the aircraft will increase proportionately with the number of F-16s in service in the Ukrainian Air Force. The provision of weapons and aircraft maintenance and support will be addressed within the framework of the multinational cooperation. Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, the UK and Norway are all taking part in this effort.