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​How Many Combat-Capable F-16s Ukraine Can Get From Norway

Norwegian F-16 / Photo credit: Forsvaret
Norwegian F-16 / Photo credit: Forsvaret
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Because out of over two dozen jets, only part of them are ready to deploy for combat missions, while the rest could still be useful as spare parts donors

Last year, Norway joined the so-called "fighter jet coalition" on the transfer of F-16 aircraft to Ukraine, and in January 2024 announced sending two F-16s for the training of Ukrainian pilots abroad. As for how many planes the country was planning to actually hand over to the Ukrainian Air Force, the number in the mass media fluctuated between 5 and 10 units.

This time, Nettavisen reports that Norway might be preparing over twenty of them for delivery. First of all, the journalists refer to an article by Zona Militar which says the USA, as the country of origin, allowed a transfer of 65 F-16 multirole fighters to Ukraine: 19 from Denmark, 24 from the Netherlands, and another 22 from Norway.

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Norwegian F-16 / Defense Express / How Many Combat-Capable F-16s Ukraine Can Get From Norway
A pair of Norwegian F-16s / Photo credit: Forsvaret

According to the documents, besides the aircraft itself, Norway would also transfer engines, support equipment, test benches, tools, maintenance materials, simulators, spare parts, manuals, technical documents, etc. The media outlet also recalls that Norway formed a core group of instructors teaching Ukrainians in Denmark, another major contributor to the "fighter jet coalition."

Nettavisen, in turn, elaborates that it managed to "get confirmation that this is true" but most likely, not all of these 22 aircraft are fully operational: some of them may, in fact, be unfit for flight. Nonetheless, they can be useful for other things, like dismantling for spare parts to repair other jets in the fleet.

On the other hand, the Norwegian media suggests that at least 12 aircraft are combat-capable — these are the ones that Norway previously planned to sell to the American company Draken International. "These aircraft are airworthy and are still in Norway," the article reads.

A brief reminder from Defense Express, Norway has chosen F-35 fifth-generation fighters to replace its aging fleet of F-16s, there is an ongoing contract for 52 units overall worth approximately USD 10 billion.

That said, the timeframe when the Norwegian F-16s will be ready to perform combat missions in the hands of Ukrainian pilots is still unknown.

"There are many indications that there will be no Norwegian-donated aircraft in Ukrainian airspace until after the NATO summit in Washington in July," Nettavisen journalists note.

Norwegian F-16 / Defense Express / How Many Combat-Capable F-16s Ukraine Can Get From Norway
Norwegian F-16 / Photo credit: Forsvaret
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