The United States wants to give F-16 training to Ukrainian pilots, but what is the role of the Netherlands?

The United States has given the go-ahead to provide F-16 training for Ukrainian pilots. They are trained in Europe. The Netherlands can play an important role in this regard. At the same time, the Russians claim to have won the Battle of Bachmut.

US consent is important to prevent the uncontrolled proliferation of weapons systems. The builder must always grant permission to be resold. Same for the F16.

F16 pilot training

“The basic training of someone who is not yet a pilot at all can take place in Europe. England can play a role in this case. They don’t have their own F16s, but they can provide basic training. Retraining on the F16 can be provided by the Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark,” explains defense specialist at HCSS Peter Wijninga in Good Morning Netherlands on NPO 1.

The fact that the road is open to F16s is a huge psychological victory for the Ukrainians, Wijninga believes. “And a success for Zelensky too. He’s been asking for it for months. This will boost their morale. »

Deliver to Ukraine

“It might well be,” is Wijninga’s response to the question of whether the Netherlands will also supply Ukraine with F16s. “We still have 42 and are using 24. The rest are actually stored in a ready-to-fly situation. The intention was to resell it used. Now he is ready for Ukraine.

If the cabinet finally decides to send F16s to Ukraine, it could take a long time, possibly months, before Ukraine can receive them. “There needs to be logistical support and some infrastructural adjustments need to be made.”

Battle of Bachmut

The Battle of Bachmut seems over. At least the leader of the Russian group Wagner claims that the Ukrainian city is in Russian hands. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky denies the takeover.

According to Wijninga, Russia is probably trapped by Ukraine. “The Russians have pushed west from the city and completely control it except for an extreme southwestern tip. The Ukrainians are advancing simultaneously on the flanks to the north and south of this city. This creates a risk of ‘encirclement.

It is estimated that the Russians have already suffered 10,000-20,000 casualties in the Battle of Bachmut. “Just to conquer a city that is not very important from a strategic point of view”, explains Wijninga. But why then are the troops fighting for Bachmut? “The Russians chose to advance through this town in the northwest of Donetsk Province.”

‘Prestigious object’

There are two big industrial cities, Kramatorsk and Slovjansk, which the Russians want to get their hands on. It is also part of Russia’s main goal to conquer the whole Donbass region. And this road leads there via Bachmoet, which is why Russia considers this an important point. “It has also become more of a prestige item and the fact that they are now claiming victory will serve to boost morale,” concludes the defense specialist. “But whether it means that much in a military sense is still the question.”

Read also:

Is the West delivering F-16s to Ukraine? “It’s a matter of timing”

By: Vick ten Wolde

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