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    ‘$2B for 10 Aircraft’: Pentagon Looks to Allies to Fund Ukraine F-16 Training

    ‘$2B for 10 Aircraft': Pentagon Looks to Allies to Fund Ukraine F-16 Training

    Top Pentagon officials offered details Thursday on a plan to train Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jets, saying it will include at least six European nations, but it remained unclear what role the U.S. will play in the effort.

    Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told reporters at a press conference that Denmark and the Netherlands have decided to take the lead in developing a plan to train the Ukrainians in the weeks ahead, while other European nations have pledged support.

    , Belgium, Portugal and Poland have already offered to contribute to training and we expect more countries to join this important initiative,” Austin said following a virtual meeting with defense leaders on security aid to Kyiv as it fights a Russian invasion launched last year.

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    Austin said that the military leaders of both Denmark and the Netherlands recognize “that training is one thing, but to have capability, you need sustainment, you need maintenance, you need ordnance.”

    Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who also appeared at the press conference Thursday, said “10 F-16s is a billion dollars,” pointing out the funding commitment of equipping Ukrainians with the jets.

    “The sustainment costs another billion dollars, so you're talking about $2 billion for 10 aircraft,” he said.

    U.S. officials have yet to…

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