Ukraine expects F-16 aircraft, missiles with up to 500 km range in future aid packages – Joint Forces Commander
Ukraine expects to receive F-16 multi-purpose fighter jets and missiles with a range of 300-500 km in future military aid packages
The Commander of the Ukrainian Joint Forces, Lieutenant General Serhiy Nayev, shared the information.
"In the next packages of military aid, Ukraine is expecting F-16 aircraft and missiles with a range of 300-500 kilometers, which will allow the Ukrainian Defense Forces to achieve even greater success on the battlefield and liberate our territory from the enemy," he said.
According to him, in the first month of the full-scale Russian invasion, NLAW, JAVELIN anti-tank missile systems and STINGER, STARSTREAK, PIORUN portable air defense systems played an important role.
"Servicemen of mobile anti-tank firing groups were destroying enemy armored convoys from ambushes and disrupting the logistics of their units. Mobile air defense groups armed with portable anti-aircraft missile systems destroyed enemy aircraft and attack helicopters, and destroyed enemy troops in the air," said Nayev.
The liberation of Kherson became possible thanks to Ukraine's acquisition of M142 HIMARS and M270 MLRS, and in the winter of 2022, medium-range anti-aircraft missile systems NASAMS, IRIS-T SLM and anti-aircraft self-propelled artillery systems GEPARD, which increased the effectiveness of air defense by 75-80%, saved from massive attacks.
"And today, the destruction rate of enemy air attack assets sometimes reaches even 100%," the general said.
He emphasized that Ukraine needs new means of fighting the Russian army to fully liberate its territory.
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 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.
On November 1, the Pentagon said that the training in Arizona could last from 5 to 9 months.
In early January 2024, Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Patrick Ryder said that Ukrainian pilots would complete training on F-16 fighter jets this year.