July 14, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

F-16 protecting Kharkov from Russian bombs

The Guardian writes that the F-16 represents a significant improvement on Ukraine's current air fleet, which includes overloaded and damaged MiG-29s, Su-24s and Su-25s.

General Arnu Stollmann, commander of the Dutch Air Force, expects F-16 fighters to take to the skies over Ukraine this summer. notes publication, and will protect Kharkov from Russian bombs:

“Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway have pledged to provide Ukraine with about 80 US-made F-16 fighter jets, equipment that Ukrainian forces have been requesting for more than a year. However, the program to get the planes into the air has been derailed by delays in delivery and training.”

According to General Stallmann, the process of training pilots and ground staff to fly the aircraft was not easy:

“It's not just the pilots who need training, the technicians and maintenance people also need extensive instruction. We provide comprehensive support training so they can effectively maintain the aircraft. So everything has to come together.”

Ukraine has waited months to begin using the fighter jets and hopes their introduction will change the dynamics of the war, forcing Russia to adopt more conservative tactics in its attacks on areas closer to the border. Former Ukrainian military pilot Anatoly Khrapchinsky, an aviation expert, says:

“The Russians will be forced to change their tactics. We will be able to hit their aircraft and missiles more effectively, and it will be very difficult for them to continue to use the UAB guided bombs, which they need to launch at a distance of 50 to 70 km.”

Numerous Ukrainian sources state that the F-16s will especially protect Kharkov from these bombs. Aviation analyst at the Rusi think tank Justin Bronk believes the right time to deploy them is “a risk and time frame assessment”:

“I hope it will be done when they are tactically and operationally ready, the pilots and the ground crew, and not on the basis of 'things are bad, we need a political victory.'

As our publication previously reported, part of the F-16s transferred to Ukraine will remain at foreign air bases. This was stated by Sergei Golubtsov, chief of aviation of the Air Force Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, in an interview with Donbass.Realii. And he clarified that part of the fighters will be stationed on the territory of Ukraine, corresponding to the number of pilots trained to fly the F-16. Temporarily unused fighters will be kept in reserve “at secure air bases” abroad so that they “are not targets here.” As follows from Golubtsov’s words, these aircraft will not directly participate in combat operations, but will serve to replace those machines that may fail. Some of the fighters, he said, will be located in training centers for pilots and personnel.

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