Skip to content

Biden Rejects F-16 Delivery to Ukraine

U.S. President Joe Biden has rejected the request to send F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.

F-16 Fighting Falcon
F-16 Fighting Falcon

Still, the administration has yet to hold high-level discussions about arming Kyiv with the jets, according to a U.S. official. The decision-maker has yet to decide after a serious internal policy review.

Possibility of F-16 Transfer

It's unclear if Biden's "no" means "never" or "not now." The U.S. government has said that security assistance decisions depend on Ukraine's situation. The U.S. will discuss fighter jets "very carefully" with Kyiv and its allies. The U.S. has not ruled in or out of any specific systems.

Another possibility is that the U.S. could approve the re-export of F-16s from third-party countries that operate them, which is a requirement for the transfer of American-made warplanes.

Joe Biden
Joe Biden

Pentagon's Take on F-16 Delivery

Discussions about sending F-16s to Ukraine are gaining traction at the Pentagon. One U.S. Defense Department official said, "I don't think we are opposed." However, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has repeatedly rejected any F-16-related requests from Kyiv.

International Responses to F-16 Delivery

Andriy Yermak, a top aide to Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy, said Monday that Poland would be willing to provide its F-16s to Ukraine in coordination with NATO. Despite this, Scholz has advised against entering a competition to outbid each other regarding weapons systems.