Danilov sets the record straight on how many F-16s Ukraine will receive and on pilot training

September 2, 2023

F-16 aircraft (Photo:REUTERS/Jana Rodenbusch)

F-16 aircraft (Photo:REUTERS/Jana Rodenbusch) 

There is a lot of misinformation surrounding the provision of Western fighter jets and the training of Ukrainian pilots, National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) secretary, Oleksiy Danilov, told NV in an interview on Sept. 1.

He confirmed that the Netherlands has committed to providing Ukraine’s Armed Forces with 42 F-16 aircraft.

However, Danilov refrained from disclosing the exact number of these aircraft that Ukraine will receive from Western partners asserting that this information will be made public “when they are in our skies.”

He also debunked claims that Ukrainian pilots would only spend four months mastering the English language during their F-16 training, saying that “this doesn’t quite align with reality.”

“People who undergo training come prepared, with varying levels of proficiency. But, believe me, the speed at which our military personnel master specific equipment is the envy of some countries.”

“To illustrate, it typically takes 9 to 12 months to become proficient in the Patriot system. Our military personnel accomplished the same task in just two,” said Danilov.

Ukraine needs approximately 160 F-16 fighter jets to prevent Russia from dominating the skies and to defend the country, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated on Sept. 1.


  1. The length of training for F-16s has been, is, and always will be a lame excuse and downright lie. There isn’t a single weapon system that the Ukrainians haven’t learned in shorter time than usually required, and this to near perfection. Even so, had this program been started a year ago, we would see swarms of F-16s in Ukrainian skies this very moment.
    The true reason for them not being there yet is the usual one; spinelessness on the part of the decision makers.

  2. Why the Baltic States to this day did not receive a single F-16 or F-18 by Nato members???! This is sick! 🤒

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