Czech PM confirms helicopter donation, F-16 flight training to boost Ukraine's airpower

7 July, 04:25 PM
Petr Fiala (Photo:Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS)

Petr Fiala (Photo:Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS)

The Czech Republic will send Ukraine more attack helicopters and large-caliber ammunition, and also train Ukrainian pilots on F-16s, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said after meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Prague on July 7.

He also added that Czechia will provide Ukraine with flight simulators that will allow training to take place in Ukraine.

Fiala emphasized that the Czech Republic is one of the largest providers of military aid to Ukraine.

During Russia's full-scale invasion, the country has sent 676 pieces of heavy equipment, including tanks and more than 4 million rounds of medium and large-caliber ammunition to Ukraine, Fiala said.

Video of day

“This means that every day, since the first day of the war, about 10,000 pieces of ammunition and at least one tank, rocket launcher, howitzer, etc. have been leaving the Czech Republic for Ukraine," Fiala said.

Zelenskyy said that he appreciated Prague's assistance and was ready to support Czech companies involved in reconstruction projects in Ukraine.

Earlier, NV reported that Romania will open a regional training center for F-16 fighter pilots, which will be available to its allies and NATO partners, including Ukraine.

Training of Ukrainian pilots on F-16s — What is known

During a meeting in the Ramstein format on May 25, Western countries decided that Denmark and the Netherlands would lead a European fighter jet coalition for Ukraine.

The White House said the allies will determine in the coming months when Ukraine will receive fighter aircraft, from whom, and how many. At the same time, the fighter jets will be supplied on the condition that Ukraine does not use them to strike Russian territory.

Eight European countries have already joined the "fighter jet coalition" for Ukraine: The United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Poland, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Portugal, and France.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said the F-16s would not arrive before the New Year, although the Defense Ministry had previously hoped they would come this fall.

Politico reported that a coalition of Western countries is considering Romania as a possible place to train Ukrainian pilots on F-16s.

Ukraine has been requesting modern fighter jets since the early days of Russia’s full-scale invasion and war, which started on Feb. 24, 2022.

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