Ukraine will have variety of fighter jets: F-16 Falcon will operate alongside Gripen. Is it huge problem?
The F-16 should be the main new fighter for Ukraine, but it will not be the only aircraft of its class in the Air Force, as another type of aircraft that will be in service is the Swedish JAS 39 Gripen
The spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force Command, Yuriy Ihnat, said during the telethon that Sweden is joining the process of replenishing Ukrainian combat aircraft. He noted that the Gripen "will not be in service much", and that the F-16 will be the main type of aircraft and will gradually replace old Soviet equipment.
It is worth reminding that recently it was reported that Ukrainian pilots have already started "introductory training" on these aircraft. However, there are no more specifics yet, neither in terms of timing nor in terms of the number of these aircraft that could boost the Ukrainian Air Forces.
Thus, Ukraine will still have a variety of fighters. It should be understood that it consists not only of two types of Western fighters, but also of the fact that no one, at least until the Victory, will write off Soviet aircraft.
And in general, we must remember that arms unification is an exclusive luxury of peacetime, with the certainty that it will last for a very long time. Because many countries, when it comes to rearmament, go this way, and Poland is a great example of this decision.
In particular, the country, having 48 F-16 fighters, kept in service not only MiG-29, but even Su-22, which will be in service until 2024.
And the decision to withdraw these outdated Soviet machines is directly tied to the acquisition of another type of machine - the fifth generation F-35 fighter jets. And in addition to American combat aircraft, Warsaw has also ordered Korean FA-50s, which are supposed to replace Soviet MiG-29s.
That is, the Polish Air Force will have three types of fighters in service at the same time - F-35, F-16 and FA-50 - even after the Soviet aircraft are retired. And this is a completely logical and pragmatic decision, given the F-35 delivery timeframe, which stretches for almost ten years from the date of order with a price that has soared 1.5 times after 2022.
It is even possible to cite the example of Korea, where the F-35A, F-15K, F-16, FA-50, F-5 and the still legendary F-4 Phantom II are in service at the same time.
After all, the Air Force Vision of 2020 remains relevant for Ukraine, at least in part, according to which the operation of Soviet aircraft was to end in 2035. That is, even then, it was assumed that the Ukrainian Air Force would operate different types of fighters in parallel for a certain period of time. Not to mention the fact that as of 2021, the combat aircraft fleet consisted of four separate types - Su-27, MiG-29, Su-24, and Su-25.
That is, the situation with various aircraft in the Ukrainian air force, although not the best solution, is absolutely commonplace and has not raised any questions throughout.