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Denmark retains F-16 fighter jets flying because of Russia menace




COPENHAGEN

Denmark will hold its fleet of F-16 fighter jets operational three years longer than deliberate amid a heightened safety menace from Russia, the country’s Defence Minister Morten Bodskov stated on Monday.

The NATO country will spend 1.1 billion Danish crowns ($156 million) to maintain its F-16s flying till 2027. Denmark agreed in 2016 to purchase a fleet of F-35 Lightning fighter jets from Lockheed Martin with a plan to retire its F-16s in 2024.

“The defence of NATO territory to the east is extra central than at another time in latest historical past. That is why we’re extending the operational capability of the F-16s whereas the brand new F-35 jets are being phased in,” Bodskov stated in a press release.

“Putin’s aggression in Ukraine has modified Europe and the threats we face,” he stated.

The choice will enable Denmark to strengthen its nationwide defence and to take part in NATO missions, equivalent to air policing within the Baltic countries, the defence ministry stated.



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