Dutch providing Ukraine with F-16 ammunition, drones, minister says

By Thomson Reuters Mar 20, 2024 | 1:48 PM

KYIV (Reuters) – The Netherlands is providing Ukraine with 350 million euros for F-16 fighter jet ammunition and advanced reconnaissance drones, Dutch Defence Minister Kajsa Ollongren announced in Kyiv on Wednesday.

Speaking to Reuters in an interview at the conclusion of a two-day trip to Ukraine, Ollongren said she had come to show solidarity and announce the new aid package.

At the Ramstein group meeting of Ukraine’s allies, Ollongren said 150 million euros will fund guided air-to-ground missiles that can be fired from F-16s, while 200 million will go to Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) drones, according to a Dutch defence ministry press release.

The Netherlands has pledged 2 billion euros in military aid for Ukraine in 2024. A significant share will fund ammunition and drones, which Kyiv has said are desperately needed to end battlefield losses against Russia.

Denmark, the Netherlands and the United States expect to deliver the first of dozens of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine this summer after establishing a pilot training programme and donating aircraft.

In Kyiv, Ollongren said the Danish aircraft would arrive first, but they would be followed by the first Dutch planes later in 2024.

“I’m very confident that we will start delivering F-16s this summer… Denmark first, and we have a schedule … so in the second half of the year the Dutch F-16s will be going this way.”

(Reporting by Max Hunder, additional reporting by Anthony Deutsch in Amsterdam; Editing by William Mclean and Chizu Nomiyama)