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Ukrainian airfields aren't equipped yet, it's not West's problem: expert on F-16 transfer

19 June, 2024 Wednesday
15:20

Ukraine has no infrastructure facilities that could accommodate F-16 fighter jets

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Dmytro Sniehyrov, military expert and co-chairman of the Prava Sprava public organization, said this on the Espreso TV channel.

"Regarding the delay in the transfer of F-16s, the question is not only to the West. The issue lies in the readiness of the infrastructure that would receive the aircraft. We are talking about Ukrainian airfields, which, unfortunately, in the third year of a full-scale war, are not all equipped with shelters that would make it impossible to hit the F-16 even with UAV drones. For some reason, millions of dollars are allocated for road construction even in frontline areas where the distance to the combat line is 7 km. Meanwhile, Ukrainian airports are still not equipped with the systems. Therefore, the West has a question: "Where are you going to send the F-16s if they can be hit by cruise missiles, ballistic missiles or drones the next day?"'' Sniehyrov said.

The second question is whether Ukraine's airfields, namely runways, are ready to accept F-16s, he says: "Ukrainian runways are concrete slabs, and F-16s are sensitive. Accordingly, there are problems here as well. Again, there is money for road construction, but we cannot solve the issue of infrastructure that could meet the tactical and technical characteristics of the F16."

Now there are claims against Western countries because of the delay in the delivery of the F-16. However, no wonder the question arose that some F-16s will be based in NATO countries..

"Western countries are ready to give us a sufficient number of aircraft. But we don't have the pilots and infrastructure to receive these F-16s. This is not the West's problem. The West has once again extended a helping hand, saying: "We are ready for some of the aircraft to be based in NATO countries." Although they were categorically against it before. In their opinion, this would mean that these countries are parties and participants in the war in Ukraine.  Accordingly, the F-16 basing sites are legitimate targets for Russian weapons already on the territory of a NATO country. We need to talk about this. Unfortunately, we are only being given distorted information about the delay in the transfer of F-16s," he summarized.

  • On June 10, Serhiy Holubtsov, chief of aviation of the Ukrainian Air Force Command, said that there is a certain number of F-16s that will not be stored in Ukraine.

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