Ukraine's defense chief meets Belgian colleague to discuss transfer of F-16s to Ukraine
Ludivine Dedonder and Rustem Umyerov (Photo: Ministry of Defense)

Ukraine's Defense Minister Rustem Umerov met with his Belgian colleague Ludivine Dedonder to discuss the transfer of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine and the training of pilots, reported the press service of the Ministry of Defense.

The supply of the necessary equipment for the F-16 fighter jets was particularly discussed by the ministers, according to the statement.

Umerov thanked Belgium for supporting Ukraine and participating in strengthening the defense capabilities of the Armed Forces. At the same time, Dedonder confirmed the country's intentions to transfer F-16 aircraft to Ukraine in 2025.

The Ukrainian minister also emphasized the need to start the process of establishing supply chains of spare parts, technical equipment and ammunition for the F-16.

"During the meeting, the parties discussed the possibility of receiving representatives of the Belgian defense-industrial complex in Ukraine at the beginning of next year," the department added.

As of November 2023, with the assistance of foreign experts, evaluation of airfields for multipurpose fighters continues in Ukraine, and the first Ukrainian pilots and engineers continue training on the F-16, which began in August.

On October 30, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced that the first F-16s would leave for Romania "within two weeks."

On November 7, five F-16 fighters of the Netherlands Air Force were transferred to Romania.

On November 10, the Air Force reported that Ukrainian pilots have already begun to undergo practical training on F-16 fighters in the air.