Norway to Send Only 6 F-16s to Ukraine Instead of 22 or 10: Here's Why

F-16 aircraft of the Norwegian Air Force / All photos: Norwegian Air Force
F-16 aircraft of the Norwegian Air Force / All photos: Norwegian Air Force

Norway announced for the first time the number of F-16s to be delivered to Ukraine, and their number is significantly lower than unofficial estimates

The Ukrainian Air Force will receive six F-16 fighters from Norway, as announced by Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre. He also added that the delivery of the aircraft will begin in 2024.

Thus, Norway, which decommissioned all its F-16s in 2022, has become the smallest donor of these aircraft to Ukraine. For example, Denmark is donating 19 aircraft, Belgium 30, and the Netherlands 24.

Read more: ​F-16 Jets From the Netherlands, Denmark Are Already on Their Way to Ukraine

It is worth noting that Norway never officially announced how many aircraft might be transferred. Unofficial estimates mentioned up to 22 F-16s. However, it was noted that not all of these aircraft are operational, and some would be used for spare parts. Therefore, in August 2023, Jonas Gahr Støre stated that the number would likely be fewer than 10 aircraft.

Defense Express

In April 2024, Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide still kept the exact number of F-16s for Ukraine secret, confirming that only a portion of the available aircraft were combat-ready, while some were merely "fuselages" that could only be used for repairing other planes.

It is also worth noting that in January 2024, Norway officially announced the transfer of two F-16s for training Ukrainian pilots, which were supposed to be deployed at the Danish Skrydstrup Air Base in the spring-summer of this year.

Defense Express

And the fact that out of the purported 22 available aircraft in Norway, only six are operational, with an additional two designated for training purposes, is entirely understandable. After all, Norwegian planes were retired two years ago, and as of 2022, there were formally only 57 units.

Defense Express

So the issue is no longer that Norway is transferring only six F-16s, but rather that only six F-16s in the country, after two years of retirement, are in a condition to engage in combat.

Read more: ​F-16 Aircraft from Denmark Will Arrive in Ukraine in the Near Future