US won’t mind other countries giving Ukraine F-16s – report

The United States does not oppose the transfer of American F-16 fighters to Ukraine by third countries, a Pentagon spokesperson told Politico.

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When asked for comment, the official pointed to a January Politico article quoting a senior DoD official as saying, "I don’t think we are opposed [to the idea]."

While the White House has repeatedly dismissed the possibility of sending the US Air Force’s F-16s, it has never ruled out approving a third-party transfer from another country, Politico reports.

Nations that have purchased the F-16 or any other weapons system from the US must first seek Washington’s approval before transferring them to a third country.

Ukraine has long been asking for modern fighter jets, claiming that its current Soviet-era aircraft are not capable of countering offensives of Russian forces and are too old to be combat-effective.

While such deliberations are known to be taking place, no country has so far committed to delivering Ukraine modern aircraft.

Kyiv, meanwhile, is betting on a ‘jet coalition’ to be created similarly to the ‘tank coalition’, which expedited the delivery of critically needed armoured capabilities.