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    Historic Kill! Ukraine Praises Dutch Skill, Demands F-16 Jets After Shooting Down MiG-29.

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    They say that God created the earth, but the Dutch created the Netherlands by fending off catastrophic flooding to protect their homeland. Intriguingly, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense echoes similar Dutch endurance against the oceans (MoD).

    A video sent to Twitter on January 30 by the official account of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense requests an F-16 fighter plane from the Netherlands. The film begins by praising the Netherlands and stating, “A nation that has fought and won a war against the oceans knows there is no such thing as an unwinnable war.”

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    The film quickly transitions to a list of the military weaponry that Kiev has acquired or will get from Amsterdam. This comprises howitzers, armoured personnel carriers, the Patriot missile defence system, and Leopard-2 tanks. The video concludes with the phrase “Thank you, Netherlands!”

    The video appears to be a thankfulness exercise at first glance, but the message lies in the caption. It says: “The country that famously conquered the sea will aid us in conquering our enemies. Many thanks, Netherlands! PS And you are aware that we would value F-16s!”

    After the United States and Germany stated that they would provide Ukraine with Abrams and Leopard-2 combat tanks, the beleaguered nation focused on acquiring F-16 fighter fighters from NATO. In this context, Ukrainian officials are reaching out to countries like the Netherlands and Poland for F-16 aircraft.

    Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands Wopke Hoekstra stated in a statement earlier this month that his country is willing to discuss with a “open mind” the future transfer of F-16 fighters to Ukraine if Kyiv requests them.

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    The Royal Netherlands Air Force is gradually replacing its F-16A/B MLU fighters with the more technologically superior F-35A, a fifth-generation fighter. It presently has 24 F-16s after selling 12 of them to the United States for use as trainer aircraft.

    In addition to the Dutch F-16, Ukrainian officials are extremely interested in the Polish F-16s. Andrii Yermak, the head of the Ukrainian president’s office, stated, “Efforts are underway to acquire F-16 fighter jets. We have received positive signs from Poland, which we are prepared to share with NATO.”

    The Dutch F-16s stand out due to the fact that they once shot down a MiG-29 in action.

    F-16
    File Image: F-16

    When a Dutch F-16 shot down a Russian MiG-29

    During the Kosovo conflict of the late 1990s, the NATO allies united under the name of “Operation Allied Force” to attack Yugoslavia and force it to withdraw from Kosovo.

    As part of the operation, airstrikes were conducted from March 24, 1999 until June 10, 1999, and only ceased when Yugoslav forces withdrew.

    The Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16 was responsible for one of the initial kills in this mission. Four F-16AMs of the Dutch Air Force were among the first NATO aircraft to enter Serbian airspace on the night of March 24.

    In a matter of minutes, the Dutch shot down a Serbian MiG-29, delivering them their first air-to-air victory since World War II.

    This fight reportedly marked the combat debut of the F-16 AM, the most sophisticated F-16 model in current service.

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    F-16 AM of the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNAF)

    In an interview with Jane’s Defense Weekly, Lt Col Jon Abma, RNlAF, the commanding officer of the Belgian-Netherlands Deployed Air Task Force (DATF), discussed the early stages of Operation Allied Force.

    He stated, “At 19.30 local time, four F-16AMs departed for a fighter escort mission to cover one of the first NATO strike packages. After refuelling over the Adriatic Sea, the aircraft flew via Albania and entered Serbia. Upon approaching Serbian airspace, AWACS advised them that three MiG-29s had taken off from a base near Belgrade.”

    Col Abma stated, “The four F-16AMs headed toward the threat while utilising their radars to spot the MiGs. Subsequently, all four F-16s captured one of the MiGs. Our flight leader fired one AMRAAM at the MiG when within range. It was an instant hit after a 30-second flight.”

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    Serbian MiG-29 Fighter Jet- Wikimedia Commons

    “The engaged pilot witnessed a spectacular explosion. “At the same time, the MiG departed from the AWACS’s field of view,” Col. Abda added. We have never seen the other MiG-29s, but two F-15s shot down two of them around the same time.

    It is important to highlight that the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) runs its fleet of MiG-29 fighter jets, which it has deployed extensively in the current combat. Some of these jets have been shot down by Ukrainian fighter pilots or by its air defence soldiers using surface-to-air missiles.

    READ MORE: How To Kill An Abrams! Russian ‘Experts’ Issue A Guidebook On Where & How To Destroy The US Main Battle Tank

    The Ukraine operates the MiG-29 aircraft in addition to the Su-24, Su-25, and Su-27, to name a few. NATO also delivered MiG-29 jets to the country. However, it has reiterated its request for advanced F-16 aircraft to combat the VKS and gain air superiority.

    The F-16 Fighting Falcons have been deployed on numerous battlefields across the world and have a reputation for being resilient in combat. According to reports, Ukrainian pilots trained on fighter jets from the Soviet era will adapt to the F-16s within a few months of training. This has significantly increased optimism over the transfer.

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    However, experts have identified various obstacles associated with the transfer of F-16s to Ukraine, including maintenance. Justin Bronk, a senior research fellow at RUSI, described in a series of tweets how Russian surface-to-air missiles posed a threat to the fighter jets.

    Bronk stated, “Any western jets that could feasibly be supplied would still be at significant risk from Russian SAMs, requiring them to fly at extremely low altitudes within tens of kilometres of the frontlines. This would drastically diminish missile range and severely restrict striking options.”

    However, despite the reservations highlighted by military experts and policymakers, Kyiv has increased its desire for the F-16. It has not yet become a high priority, but the request has already sparked contention inside the NATO camp.

    The West is also receptive to Ukraine’s request for F-16s. Politico reported, citing anonymous US officials, that a handful of US military chiefs are gently lobbying the Pentagon to approve the transfer of F-16 fighter jets to the war-torn country so that it can defend itself against Russian missile and drone attacks.

    Therefore, the momentum is increasing.

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