NATO member, Norway, plans to donate F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, as stated by Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre on Thursday. This comes during Kyiv’s challenging efforts to counter Russia.
Gahr Støre, who was visiting Kyiv for Ukraine’s Independence Day, spoke to the Norwegian news agency NTB. He mentioned that Norway would offer F-16 planes to Ukraine, likely fewer than 10 in number.
The Norwegian leader communicated the aircraft donation to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. He also noted that the specifics regarding the number of planes and the transfer schedule would be discussed with Kyiv and other allied nations.
“We are committed to aiding Ukraine,” Gahr Støre affirmed.
Norway would be the third European country, following the Netherlands and Denmark, to provide F-16 aircraft.
Ukraine has long requested advanced fighter jets to gain an advantage in combat. Recently, it initiated an anticipated counteroffensive against Russian forces without air cover, exposing its troops to Russian aviation and artillery.
Norway’s donations to support Ukraine
In February, resource-rich Norway announced a 75 billion kroner ($7 billion) donation to Kyiv as part of a five-year support package, positioning Norway as one of Ukraine’s major contributors.
This funding will be evenly divided between military and humanitarian aid over five years, amounting to 15 billion kroner ($1.4 billion) annually.
Gahr Støre also disclosed that Norway intends to donate anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine, underscoring the importance of air defense. He stated, “Ukraine’s ability to safeguard its civilian population, front-line infrastructure, and military units against Russian air attacks relies on air defense.”
“This is one of the largest military donations from Norway to Ukraine thus far,” Gahr Støre asserted in a statement.
The Norwegian government has expressed its contemplation of sending F-16s to Ukraine for some time. In January, Norway received the initial batch of the 52 F-35s it had ordered. These new fighter jets are intended to replace Norway’s existing F-16 fleet.
Last week, the Netherlands and Denmark also revealed their plans to donate F-16 aircraft. Denmark’s contribution is set at 19 planes, while the exact number from the Netherlands remains undisclosed.
Earlier this week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy embarked on a tour of various European nations, including the Netherlands and Denmark. However, he did not visit Norway.