Ukraine did not insist on receiving F/A-18 HORNET aircraft: military expert explains the reason
Serhiy Zgurets, director of the media and consulting company Defense Express noted when the F-16s perform combat functions on the battlefield, then other models of equipment can be considered
He said this on the Espreso TV channel.
"An expert discussion has unfolded around a publication in an Australian publication stating that a Ukrainian representative, at the suggestion of another Australian representative regarding the F/A-18 HORNET, said that we do not need such outdated systems. In fact, Ukraine did not insist on getting F/A-18 HORNETs because these fighters have already been discontinued by Boeing. Theoretically, they are good, but they require creating their own logistics and pilot training. And given the prospects that they are no longer being produced, we understand the difficulties that Ukraine will face in the future," Zgurets said.
According to the military expert, for the second year in a row, the Air Force Command has been insisting on speeding up the processes associated with receiving F-16s, training pilots, and providing logistics.
"And we see how difficult it is. If there were other options, it would only complicate the work on preparing to receive the fighters, but would not increase the combat readiness of the Ukrainian army. I understand the logic of the Air Force Command that we need to achieve one solution related to the F-16. When these aircraft perform combat functions, then we will think about other types of equipment," Zgurets added.
F-16 fighters for Ukraine: what is known
On May 21, 2023, US President Joe Biden approved the training of Ukrainians on F-16s. Volodymyr Zelenskyy assured that Ukraine would not use these aircraft to strike at Russian territory.
Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba says that the first F-16 fighter jets are likely to fly in Ukraine's skies by the end of March 2024.
On August 17, the United States approved the shipment of F-16 multi-role fighters to Ukraine.
At the same time, Denmark said it would supply Ukraine with the aircraft if they were not used in Russia.
The Netherlands will provide 42 fighter jets. At the same time, Norway will provide Ukraine with F-16s, but the exact number is unknown.
On September 15, Belgium joined the training of Ukrainian pilots on F-16s. Earlier, the Belgian Defense Ministry said it would not provide Ukraine with F-16 fighters because they are outdated and in poor condition. Such aircraft are dangerous to operate.
On October 11, Danish Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen said that the country would be able to deliver the first F-16s to Ukraine in March-April 2024.
On October 12, the media reported that the Netherlands would send F-16s to Romania, where Ukrainian pilots would begin training in a few weeks.
On October 26, Ukrainian pilots began flight training on F-16s at an air base in Arizona, USA.
In early January 2024, Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Patrick Ryder said that Ukrainian pilots would complete training on F-16 fighter jets this year.