U.S. gives ‘green light’ to European countries to train Ukrainians on F-16 fighter jets, Biden official says

By | July 16, 2023

CNN reports:

The US will allow European countries to train Ukrainians on F-16 fighter jets, a top Biden administration official confirmed Sunday, a potential boon for Ukraine’s efforts to counter Russia’s air superiority.

“The president has given a green light and we will allow, permit, support, facilitate and in fact provide the necessary tools for Ukrainians to begin being trained on F-16s, as soon as the Europeans are prepared,” national security adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”

The decision cements a stark turnaround for President Joe Biden, who said earlier this year that he did not believe that Ukraine needed the F-16s. One of the main issues Kyiv’s ground forces have faced as their counteroffensive gets underway is Russian air power holding them back. Russia still maintains air superiority, which makes it difficult for ground forces to advance.

In May, Biden had informed G7 leaders that the US would support a joint effort with allies and partners to train Ukrainian pilots on fourth generation aircraft, including F-16s, though it was unclear at the time when that training would star. [Continue reading…]

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