A matter of months
Ukraine will receive US F-16 fighter jets, but their delivery will take several months, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken told CNN live.
“It is important to focus on ensuring that when they (the Armed Forces of Ukraine) receive them, they will be properly trained, able to service these aircraft and reasonably use them,” the official said.
According to him, even if Kiev received these fighters and tomorrow, it would take months to use them.
The fact is that the use of the F-16 requires pilot training, the establishment of a maintenance process, and the organization of opportunities for the use of fighters in combined arms operations. All this takes time, Blinken stressed.
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As the Secretary of State noted, the US military leadership is making every possible effort to determine which weapons are most effective for the Ukrainian side and which could be delivered and used in the shortest possible time.
How will F-16s affect the course of hostilities?
John Kirby, strategic communications coordinator at the White House National Security Council, spoke on July 20 about the transfer of F-16s to Kiev before the end of this year. At the same time, he expressed the opinion that even if Ukraine receives fighter jets, the course of hostilities will not change. In his opinion, the Ukrainian side needs artillery to a greater extent.
As noted by the former adviser to the head of the office of the President of Ukraine Oleksiy Arestovich (included in the list of terrorists and extremists), the Armed Forces of Ukraine do not have enough cars, machine guns, mortars and even small arms. He noted that the problems in the Ukrainian army were not due to the lack of F-16s or American ATACMS ballistic missiles, but because of more banal things.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky in early July accused the United States and European allies of the lack of clarity about the timing of deliveries of F-16s to Kiev. Canada and Japan), which took place in May in Hiroshima. Zelensky pointed to the existence of a coalition of states ready to start training Ukrainian pilots, but the mission schedule has not yet been drawn up due to the delay in announcing the dates for the transfer of fighters.
“The F-16s will arrive in Kyiv at the same time as the M1 Abrams. The West plays the long game” Training Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16 fighter jets is a key step in creating future… According to him, the places for training will be determined by the US authorities in cooperation with Romania, Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway.
The last two countries plan to launch the training program for Ukrainian pilots. It is they who, according to Politico, can transfer fighter jets to Kyiv. The Netherlands estimates that it will take six to eight months for Ukrainian pilots to fly the F-16.
Russia‘s response and reputational risks
“The F-16 is a military-technical product, therefore, of course, if we see that these aircraft flew over Ukraine and pose a threat to us, of course, there will also be a military-technical response,” the minister said.
A week earlier, Lavrov stressed that the Russian side would perceive the transfer of fighter jets as a threat, since they could be equipped to use nuclear weapons.
According to him, the policy of the United States and its allies in transferring weapons to Ukraine creates the risk of a direct armed clash with Russia, which “is fraught with catastrophic consequences.” Even if the F-16 fighters delivered to Kiev are not equipped for the delivery of nuclear missiles, Lavrov stressed, “our military will not deal” with what is installed on each aircraft.
“They will be subject to destruction.” Russia discusses where to shoot down “Ukrainian” F-16s The Russian authorities again raised the issue of possible deliveries of F-16 fighters to Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin… June 16, 23:14
According to the Mash Telegram channel, the AresLeaks group managed to get acquainted with a secret CIA document, which states a ban on the use of all weapons supplied to the Ukrainian army in direct battles with the Russian Armed Forces. Otherwise, the US threatens to cut funding. So Washington allegedly wants to avoid reputational risks against the background of the appearance of footage with destroyed Abrams tanks and AWACS aircraft.
Also, according to Mash, the US is delaying the F-16 transmission due to Russian S-300 air defense installations, which effectively close the airspace and can destroy American fighters.
Blinken admitted in an interview with CNN that the counteroffensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is difficult.
“At the moment, the counteroffensive is at a relatively early stage. It is difficult,” he said.
According to him, the Russian armed forces organized a “reliable defense.”
The Wall Street Journal wrote in this regard that the hopes of Western countries for the courage and resourcefulness of Ukrainian soldiers did not come true. aviation in the air due to the lack of material and human resources, as well as tactical flexibility.