Espreso. Global

Ukraine with F-16 will be able to counter Russian aviation in different parts of front— Air Force

26 October, 2023 Thursday

The arrival of F-16s equipped with certain air defense missiles in Ukraine will enhance the ability to engage Russian aircraft across various fronts, and Russia is already aware of this 

Yuriy Ihnat, spokesman for Ukraine’s Air Force Command, shared the information on Espreso TV.

"Russian pilots will realize that it may be a group of Soviet aircraft, or it may be a group of American aircraft. Therefore, the enemy will not dare to approach. When we manage to destroy a few of them, the enemy will stop performing missions. This will also allow us to drive away the helicopters of the Russian army aviation, which are attacking our troops every day. Therefore, the F-16 aircraft will perform a lot of functions," said Ihnat.

According to him, the western-style guided aerial bombs Ukraine uses are high-precision weapons. They are extremely accurate, which is not the case with Russian KAB guided bombs.

"These KABs, respectively, cause serious damage 20-30 km from the line of contact, which is actually the maximum they can reach now. To extend this range and successfully launch KABs, they must approach closer to our borders. However, at that point, they face the risk of encountering anti-aircraft missile systems that can target them. They tried to do this several times in the north of the country. They flew up and boldly thought that they could bomb Kharkiv and Sumy regions from the territory of the Russian Federation. But they were hit by fire from our complex, which was waiting for them in an ambush," Ihnat said.

F-16 fighter jets for Ukraine

On May 21, 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 first group of Ukrainian pilots has already started training on F-16s in Denmark. The Netherlands will provide the country with 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. The Belgian Defense Ministry had previously stated that it would not provide Ukraine with F-16s, but later the government suggested that Ukraine might receive several F-16s next year. In 2024, the Netherlands plans to provide Ukraine with the first batch of F-16s.

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, media reported that the Netherlands would send F-16s to Romania, where Ukrainian pilots will begin training in a few weeks.

On October 26, Ukrainian pilots began flight training on F-16s in the United States.

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