The US has allowed its allies to send Ukraine its long-awaited F-16 fighter jets to fight Russia in the skies.
Zelenskiy praise the decision handing over fighter aircraft called the “Swiss Army” by the US Air Force as a “historic” move that would help ensure their victory over Putin.
The fearsome F-16 Fighting Falcons travel at twice the speed of sound and are the second most advanced generation of jets in NATO’s arsenal.
Soon they can scream their way Ukraine battlefield as Washington has paved the way for dozens of jets that could potentially be sent to Ukraine.
A Ukrainian fighter pilot who defended Kyiv during the first days of the invasion as part of the iconic “Ghosts of Kyiv” unit, knew firsthand what the decision meant.
The pilot, whose designation is Justice, said: “The main disadvantage of our jets against Russian fighters is that we have old radars with limited target detection range and missiles. obsolete.
“Russian jets have powerful modern radars with much larger detection ranges and advanced missiles.
“So therefore I need to fly towards the enemy to launch my rocket when his missile is already close to me like a kamikaze.
“Of course, I don’t do it because it’s too risky. That’s why we can’t fight them. We can only defend against their fighters,” he said. VTV News.
The F-16s can change all that with their sophisticated systems, allowing intrepid jet pilots to “see the big picture from above”.
Throughout the 15-month arduous war, the F-16s always came out on top of Ukraine wish lists as officials have stated that they are essential to knocking the enemy out of its skies.
Fighting Falcon’s are known to experts as the ‘Lego Set’ due to their versatility and low maintenance and upgradeability – ideal in wartime.
They too “game changer” capable of traveling at 1,350 mph and carrying 17,000 lbs of rockets and bombs.
The Ukrainian Air Force is currently dependent on aging Soviet times Jets have struggled against of Moscow air force and air defense more modern.
Until now President biden effectively vetoed the transfer of F-16s, with US officials citing lengthy pilot training times and the risk of an escalation of conflict with Russia.
But the new plan opens the door for some countries to supply fourth-generation aircraft and for the United States to help train pilots.
Ukrainian pilots using simulators cut the Pentagon’s estimate that training would take 18 months to just four to six months.
US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said the decision to turn back was based on the “urgent demands of the conflict”.
“It’s time for us to look down the road and say ‘What would Ukraine need… to be able to deter and defend against Russian aggression?’
“The F-16, the fourth-generation fighter, is part of that mix,” he said, adding that Ukraine had committed not to use US military equipment to attack external targets. in Russia.
“We will do everything we can to assist Ukraine in defending its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and we will also proceed in a way that avoids World War III,” he added.
The Ukrainian trump card will turn the Top Gun fiction into reality.
Dmytro Kuleba, Foreign Minister of Ukraine
With the US lifting its veto, bask quickly announced that Britain would “work together with the United States and the Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark to provide Ukraine with the combat air capabilities it needs”.
The UK does not have any F-16s in its air fleet.
As Ukraine was improve its air defense with a variety of Western-supplied air defense systems and preparing to launch a counterattack anti russia, Kiev believes the jets are necessary for the country’s long-term security.
Officials say they need up to 200 jets to confront Russia’s air power, which is said to be five or six times larger than Ukraine’s.
Currently in the fight for the skies, a Ukrainian pilot described the bleak situation they face with Putin’s fleet of planes.
“On the clearing, there is a boxer with a sniper rifle and a soldier with a gun on the opposite side, the battle begins; guess who will win?” I said VTV News.
However, the F-16s are highly maneuverable fighters that Kiev says will be capable of supporting Ukraine’s ground forces and protecting civilians from Russian devastation. missile attacks, including drones.
However, there are still some practical concerns, including the lack of infrastructure in the war-torn country to safely operate these beasts.
written in foreign policy, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba gave five main reasons why his country needs fighter jets.
First, “Ukraine requires modern jets to strengthen our air and missile defense capabilities, save lives and protect civilians,” he warned, adding that it would give allowing them to shoot down missiles long before they kill someone.
Second, he said: “The F-16 will allow us to control the skies, protect our troops, reduce their losses, and increase our pilots’ chances of survival in air battles.” war.”
Next is the security of the Black Sea corridor so that all future grain exports can move freely.
He also believes that using the F-16 in active combat will help train the US Air Force on the capabilities of their aircraft “without putting any Americans in danger.
“Ukrainian ace will make the fantasy of Top Gun a reality.”
And finally, he asserted that the planes would ensure victory for Ukraine and frighten Putin.
“F-16s in the hands of Ukrainian pilots will serve as a strong deterrent to any future Russian efforts to redraw borders in Europe.”
The former US ambassador to NATO stated that the arrival of F-16s to Ukraine could change the course of the war.
Lieutenant General Douglas Lute told PBS: “Ukrainians are losing their balance on manned aircraft, where the Russians have a clear advantage.
“So the decision to provide the required aircraft and training now really addresses that imbalance.”
“Honestly, I think it’s one of the last remaining imbalances, in favor of the Russians.”