Dutch Defense Ministry readies six more F‑16 fighters for Ukraine, bringing the total to 24
In recent weeks, Ukrainian General Mykola Malomuzh and spokesperson for the Ukrainian Air Force Yuri Ihnat stated that approximately 120 F-16 fighters are required to ensure total air dominance over Russian forces. Given that Kyiv will only receive a few dozen of these aircraft, the support from the Netherlands is critical to enhancing their air combat capabilities against the aggressor.
"Ukrainian air superiority is crucial in countering Russian aggression," wrote Ollongren on platform X, underscoring that a total of 24 F-16 fighters from the Netherlands will be heading to Ukraine. There is online speculation, in the context of F-16s, that the fighters for Ukraine might be equipped with AGM-158 JASSM missiles.
It's worth noting that these American fighters, according to many experts, could potentially turn the tide of the conflict in Ukraine. The military highlights the F-16's capability for precision strikes, and points out that a wide range of weapons can be carried on this type of fighter.
F-16 Fighters from the United States have the capacity to utilize various weapons, such as AIM-9 Sidewinder, AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles, and numerous bombs (CBU-87, GBU-10, and JDAM). Furthermore, F-16s can launch AGM-158 JASSM missiles, which have been in the spotlight recently due to the possibility of them being included in the payload of the aircraft dispatched to Ukraine. The AGM-158 is a low detectability missile brought into service in 2009. Each missile is 13 feet long, armed with a nearly half-ton warhead that can strike its target with an accuracy of up to 10 feet. The AGM-158 has a range of almost 248 miles.
Finally, it's important to note that F-16 fighters are not only characterized by their robust armament options but also their mobility. A single aircraft weighs 19 tons and is able to reach speeds up to 1305 mph. Additionally, it can operate at altitudes beyond 9 miles, where it is capable of covering distances of up to 1990 miles, or 2609 miles if equipped with extra fuel tanks.