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Fighter jet coalition: Portugal will not deliver its F-16s to Ukraine

Monday, 22 May 2023, 19:28

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Portugal, João Gomes Cravinho, has ruled out the possibility of supplying Ukraine with Portuguese F-16s within the fighter jet coalition, but confirmed the country’s readiness to participate in personnel training.

Source: Diário de Notícias.

According to the head of the Portuguese Foreign Ministry, sending F-16s is "a non-negotiable issue" because "Portugal does not have an unlimited number of aircraft".


"We have the [planes] that we need to fulfil our national obligations, as well as [our obligations] to NATO, so this issue is not up to discussion currently," Cravinho said.

At the same time, he confirmed that Portugal is "open to the possibility" of training Ukrainian pilots on F-16s.

"We have very good pilots and instructors, and they are ready to work with colleagues from other countries who also have F-16s to train Ukrainian pilots," the Portuguese Foreign Minister added.

According to various sources, the Portuguese Air Force has between 25 and 27 F-16 aircraft.

Background: Last week, the UK announced the launch of an international coalition of countries to train Ukrainian pilots on fourth-generation fighters, including F-16s. The coalition already includes the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, the United States and Portugal.

The White House also confirmed that the US and its allies will discuss when and how many modern fighter jets Ukraine will receive in the coming months.

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