• 23/07/2024 01:39

Ukraine could receive six F-16s by summer and deploy the first as early as July – New York Times

12 Ukrainian pilots will be ready to fly them.

Ukraine may receive six F-16s by summer and deploy the first in July, &minus> /p> F16 fighters of the Romanian Air Force during the NATO Reinforce Air Police exercise. </p>
<p>Ukraine may deploy F-16 fighters as early as July, but only a few. To operate the aircraft, 12 Ukrainian pilots must be ready by summer.</p>
<p>This is stated in material from the American newspaper The New York Times.</p>
<p>So far, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway and Belgium have pledged to send about 45 aircraft to Ukraine, which is enough for three small squadrons.<b>Denmark will send the first six in late spring, with a further 13 fighters expected to arrive before the end of the year and in 2025.</b></p>
<p>Other countries have not committed to delivery of their F-16s. The representative of the Dutch Ministry of Defense, Jurrian Esser, said that Amsterdam, which promised 24 aircraft, will store them until Ukraine is ready to receive them.</p>
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<p>In the meantime , Ukrainian pilots have not yet begun training at Fetesti airbase in southeastern Romania, which NATO also uses to train its pilots.</p>
<p>At the same time, this does not mean that Ukrainian pilots are not being trained, NYT notes. <b>12 pilots – less than a full squadron</b> – are expected to <b>be ready to fly the F-16 in combat by this summer</b> after 10 months of training in Denmark, Britain and the United States. </p>
<p>“But by the time the pilots return to Ukraine, only six F-16s will have been delivered out of about 45 fighters that European allies have promised,” the material says.</p>
<p>At the same time, even this small number of aircraft is a welcome arrival on the battlefield. In recent weeks, Russia has used more aggressive air support to gain ground in eastern Ukraine, using its warplanes to drop guided bombs over long distances toward the Ukrainian front line. <b>F-16s will likely be armed with short- and medium-range missiles and bombs, partially compensating for the shortage of ground-based ammunition</b>i.</p>
<p>But Western officials agree that much uncertainty remains about when each country will send its planes, how many will be sent, how quickly pilots can be trained and how Ukraine will get enough people to properly maintain the planes.</p>
<p >The Military Alliance is significantly reducing the standard training for Ukrainian pilots – classroom training, simulations and flight exercises. Even so, progress has been slower as pilots have had to master English and Western military practices to effectively fly the F-16. </p>
<p>The publication adds that about 50 Ukrainian technical specialists are being trained in Denmark</b> to maintain and repair aircraft and work with their weapons. One fighter typically requires eight to 14 people. Western defense contractors will have to escort the planes to Ukraine and stay with them until there are enough Ukrainian crews to properly maintain the planes. And that could take years.</p>
<p>Another problem is the need to repair Ukraine's aging runways damaged by the war, which could further delay the deployment of F-16 fighters to the war.</p>
<p >
<ul>
<li>In early March, President Vladimir Zelensky assured that Ukraine would receive fighter jets this year.</li>
<li>UAF Air Force Representative Yuriy Ignat noted that Ukraine will not build new infrastructure for F-16 fighters , adaptation of Ukrainian airfields is currently ongoing. </li>
</ul>
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