Ukraine needs fighter jets for its offensive and to repel attacks with glide bombs. What is expected from the F-16 in Kiev.
It was the triad that had long been accustomed to when delivering arms. No, no, yes. The western states are now helping Ukraine with a fighter jet – the F-16. Russia warned suppliers: they would “Colossal Risk” enter. US President Joe Biden’s response has been shown and shared many times on Twitter these days. “It is. For her.” Not bad. also read: Fighter jets for Ukraine – will this turn the tide of war?
Ukraine has already received planes. They were former Soviet jets from Eastern European NATO countries. This military “Clearing by Export” has reached its limits:
- Because there are not many machines and spare parts available;
- because the aircraft used are worn out;
- because they were shot down in the war.
The first and biggest advantage of the F-16: More equality of arms
As a replacement, you inevitably come to the F-16. There are many examples of the almost 15 meter long machine, which ideally flies at twice the speed of sound. Since the start of series production in 1976, more than 4500 pieces built. Well over 20 countries have the relatively cheap jet – unit price: around 30 million euros – in their stocks.
Advantage number 1: Large quantities of spare parts and experienced specialist staff. Advantage number 2: Many states can participate in one “Fighter Jet Coalition” participate – and supply the Ukrainian Air Force for a long time. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy likes to hear that, but he prefers hearing the actual message to Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin: Don’t imagine that we will slow down over time. It’s not a big deal, but it’s obvious that the military in Kiev are also being introduced to NATO standards with the F-16.
The jet is made by American companies Lockheed Martin manufactured. The United States has the final say on every shipment. The US President is relying on assurances that Ukraine does not intend to attack Russian territory and will only use the planes for defense.
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Armies surrendering F-16s will call for a replacement with each shipment. New orders would have to follow, for example from the F-35 from the same manufacturer. For the US arms industry, the Ukraine war is likely full order books mean, thank Biden. also read: F-35 Stealth Jet : Cost, Manufacturer and Capabilities
Better protection against ranged weapons, not least against glide bombs
The machines are relatively robust. Still, the F-16 need proper ones runways. How many are still available to Ukraine is unclear. But one can already guess the next targets of Russian rocket attacks.
You have to get rid of your head cinema, Hollywood images of duel-like battles on sight between planes. The Russians have jets with advanced radar and Longer range missiles. The previous machines of Ukraine are inferior. If they have aimed at a Russian target, “illuminated”, they run the risk of being shot down from a greater distance. Also interesting: Ukraine war: That’s how powerful the Patriot defense system is
In order to even get close to enemy planes, Ukrainian pilots must “sneak up effectively” by huddled against the ground to avoid detection, as defense expert Gustav Gressel wrote in a piece for the European Council Of Foreign Relations” wrote. So far they have been forced big risks enter into.
With air support, the chances of success of the ground offensive increase
A growing problem is that the Russians are becoming more and more ranged weapons Deploy: Heavy Glide Bombs, which are released by Jet and find and hit their target from long range. The Russian military are in the process of adapting old bombs and old machines accordingly.
The jets take off, drop their bombs in the border area and then turn away – difficult for Ukraine’s ground-based anti-aircraft defense to reach. The only way for Ukraine to attack with such smart bombs to fend off “is the use of fighter jets,” writes Gressel.
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With the F-16, the Ukrainian Air Force is gaining range – with an operational radius of up to 900 kilometers. Everything changes with the recently promised by Britain airborne cruise missiles of the type “Storm Shadow” in combination with the F-16. Ukraine would then be able to use ranged weapons to attack Russian facilities, the enemy’s drone aircraft from a safe distance attack and last but not least to support a ground offensive.
Is Ukraine waiting until the pilots are trained and the machines are delivered?
A prerequisite for successful ground operations air superiority. Without them, large-scale troop movements are difficult to imagine. This could mean that the so-called spring offensive will be delayed; that one waits for the four-month training of the pilots and the machines.
According to information from Kiev, they will not be handed over piece by piece, but in units. “An air unit is at least one squadron, in our case there are currently more than twelve aircraft, with our western partners up to 18 aircraft,” said the spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force Yuri Ihnat on Ukrainian television on Sunday. In this way, “several dozen fighter jets to solve upcoming tasks” could be handed over to Ukraine at the beginning. For the offensive? You might also be interested in: Ukraine: Majority of Germans against fighter jet delivery
The Bundeswehr does not have any F-16s. But according to the CDU military politician, she can Roderich Kiesewetter make a contribution: with ammunition, sensors, logistics or refueling. For the FDP defense expert Marie Agnes Strack Zimmermann is it a “breakthrough” that Ukraine gets western fighter jets.
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