Transferring US multirole F-16s to Ukraine will not guarantee victory in the war with Russia, but it may complicate the enemy’s ability to operate on the front, said Mariusz Szylma, editor-in-chief of Nowa Techniki Vojskowa newspaper, in an interview with the Polish News Agency.
“The decision to deliver these machines is another, more or less natural, step in the West’s arming of Ukraine, after the country’s army was previously equipped with HIMARS missile launchers and Patriot or Leopard tanks. NATO countries have already invested tens of billions of dollars in helping Ukraine, But now a new impetus is needed. However, it is worth remembering that the West is trying to transfer advanced weapons and military equipment to Kiev gradually, which is also due to practical reasons. The Ukrainian side is not able to absorb everything at once, and the NATO countries want Making sure that its weapons are therefore, the decision on the F-16 has only been made now, although efforts were made to acquire it a few months ago,” – noted Syelma.
According to Selma, Ukraine needs American machines for prestige reasons, for maintaining morale, and for operational reasons. According to the expert, the F-16s can be particularly effective against Russian aircraft attacking targets in Ukraine with guided aerial bombs.
“The transfer of F-16s will not change the fate of the war, but it can thwart the plans of the Russians. The aggressors drop dozens of these bombs every day, and they operate (in the occupied territories – PAP) out of their reach.” Ukrainian Ground Air Defense Forces. If the F-16s are armed with Western air-to-air missiles, the adversary may find it difficult to sustain such attacks. It is also important to compensate for the Ukrainian losses, because let’s remember that Kiev has so far lost many aircraft during combat missions, the analyst emphasized.
He added that attempts to predict the impact of the F-16s on the course of the conflict are also exposed to great risks due to the long period of delivery of these machines to Ukraine and their technical condition.
“The possibility of implementing these aircraft in the Ukrainian army is still very far away, mainly due to the training time of pilots. The Danish authorities have announced that five F-16s can be delivered around the end of 2023, another next year, and another next year. “. 2025. It is difficult to say what the war will look like at that time and whether it will continue at all. Moreover, perhaps not all F-16s will be used in combat. Danish and Dutch machines date back to the 1980s and were then used in combat. “These countries did not invest, especially in recent times, in their operational efficiency, because they were withdrawing F-16s from use with the aim of replacing them with more modern aircraft,” Silma noted.
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