Beware of Russian Threats, Denmark Extends F-16 Fighter Jet Operation Period

Beware of Russian Threats, Denmark Extends F-16 Fighter Jet Operation Period
Denmark Extends F-16 Fighter Jet Operation Period

International Military - Denmark will keep its fleet of F-16 fighter jets operational for three years longer than planned. "This policy was taken in the midst of increasing security threats from Russia," said Danish Defense Minister, Morten Bodskov, Monday (20/6/2022).

The NATO member state will spend $156 million to keep the F-16s flying until 2027. In 2016, Denmark agreed to buy a fleet of F-35 Lightning fighter jets from Lockheed Martin with plans to retire its F-16s by 2024. .

“The defense of NATO territory in the east is more central than at any other time in recent history. That is why we are expanding the operational capacity of the F-16 while the new F-35 jets are being phased in," Bodskov said. "Putin's aggression in Ukraine has changed Europe and the threat we face," he continued.

The decision will allow Denmark to strengthen its national defense and to participate in NATO missions, such as air policing in the Baltic states, the defense ministry said. Previously, a Russian warship was reported to have twice violated Danish territorial waters in the Baltic Sea.

The incident occurred as an annual festival attended by senior legislators and businessmen was taking place on a nearby island. The Russian warship entered Danish waters without permission at 2:30 a.m. (00:30 GMT) and hours later, the Danish Armed Forces said in a statement.

Following a radio message from the Danish Navy, the ship immediately left the area. Christianso Island is located 300km (190 miles) from the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad. Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod summoned the Russian ambassador over the incident.

The annual festival is attended by senior government officials, including Kofod and Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen. "However, there is no immediate threat to the event," Bodskov said. "We have to accept that the Baltic Sea is becoming an area of ​​high tension," Bodskov said, adding that this was not the first time Russia had violated Danish territory.

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