Ukraine set to strike beyond front lines: Norway to provide updated F-16 fighter jets
Espen Barth Eide and Dmytro Kuleba (Photo by EPA)

A coalition of fighter jet providers will deliver a "significant number" of F-16 aircraft to Ukraine, equipped with the latest weaponry and capable of striking beyond the front lines, Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide stated during a joint briefing with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

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The minister expressed his belief that Ukraine needs to strengthen its strike capabilities and deliver blows beyond the front lines.

"And this is one of the reasons why we are very happy to join the F-16 coalition, where we will be transferring Norwegian F-16s that have been updated and are in good shape," he said.

According to him, Norway, along with Danish and Dutch colleagues, is conducting training for Ukrainian pilots.

"And there may even be longer-range strike capabilities, which are now very important for Ukraine," he added.

Eide did not specify the number of aircraft but noted that Norway is currently cooperating with Denmark, the Netherlands, and Great Britain.

"There will be a significant number. When you ask how many will come from Norway, I cannot tell you the exact number, because there are, in particular, aircraft that have been updated, in better combat shape, and some fuselages that can be used for repair in particular," he said.

Eide stated that he has experience in defense and knows that the F-16 is a very powerful platform and it all depends on how it is equipped.

"Because this is a very advanced technology platform, but the main thing is still the weapon system that can be hung on the platform. So together as a system, this will be a quite significant contribution. Therefore, the aircraft that will be airworthy will be with the latest weaponry," the minister said.

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