explains F-16 delay for Ukraine

27 explains F-16 delay for Ukraine

Supplying an enough variety of warplanes would take years and price billions, a high navy official mentioned

US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Workers Mark Milley has mentioned Washington is solely unable to offer sufficient F-16 fighter jets to help Ukraine’s counteroffensive, citing the money and time wanted to produce the weapons.

Requested why Ukraine has not acquired the American fighters throughout a Tuesday press briefing, Milley mentioned the main focus ought to as a substitute be on artillery and air defenses, as F-16s is not going to be possible within the near-term.

“Simply do a fast math drill right here. Ten F-16s are $2 billion,” he mentioned. “The Russians have a whole lot of fourth- and fifth-generation airframes, so if they are going to attempt to match the Russians one for one – and even, you realize, two-to-one – you’re speaking about a lot of plane.”

The overall mentioned it will take “years” to coach Ukrainian pilots, “do the upkeep and sustainment” operations required, and “generate that diploma of economic help,” including “You’re speaking far more billions of {dollars} than has already been generated.”

Whereas US officers beforehand mentioned Ukrainian airmen could be instructed to function the F-16 via a world coalition searching for to assist Kiev get hold of the jet, Washington has but to grant formal approval to European nations slated to hold out the coaching, Politico reported final week. 

The State Division is meant to authorize the switch of instruction manuals, flight simulators and different supplies required for the coaching, however has but to take action, with Pentagon spokesman Garron Garn noting that the requests are “nonetheless being reviewed.”

Kiev has repeatedly urged its Western backers to offer it with further airpower, demanding the F-16 particularly on a number of events. Although Overseas Minister Dmitry Kuleba mentioned Ukraine may deploy its first F-16s by late March 2024, it’s unclear what Milley’s feedback may imply for that timetable. 

Ukraine’s much-awaited counter-offensive kicked off in June, however has slowed within the face of highly effective Russian fortifications. In accordance with Politico, some senior US officers imagine that future help for Ukraine will rely upon the success of the operation, although Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has blamed delays in Western navy support for the lagging marketing campaign.

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