Kyiv believes it needs 48 F-16s

Photo: © Global Look Press/Duncan C. Bevan/

Photo: © Global Look Press/Duncan C. Bevan/

The Ukrainian side allegedly needs 48 F-16 fighters to “reach the 1991 borders.” This was stated in the Ministry of Defense of the country.

According to the Ukrainian department, four squadrons of F-16s would allegedly help Kyiv “to achieve the return of the lost lands.”

“4 squadrons of F-16s (48 aircraft) is exactly what we need”, the ministry said in a statement on its social media pages.

On May 25, US Secretary of Defense Christopher Lloyd Austin said that Western countries expect to begin training Ukrainian pilots to use F-16 fighters in the coming weeks. Foreign Policy reported that the first phase of the training of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will take place in the UK. About 20 pilots will be trained there. Basic aircraft control exercises will be held there.

On May 20, Mikhail Podolyak, an adviser to the head of the Ukrainian president’s office, said that negotiations with Europe on the supply of F-16 fighters had led to the first possible deliveries of the aircraft. The first country to hand them over will be the Netherlands. Previously, Ukraine requested 100 F-16 units.

After that, US Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said that the aircraft transferred to Kyiv would be based directly in Ukraine, while not directly confirming the delivery of the F-16. However, on May 23, he nevertheless said that deliveries of American fighters would begin in the coming months, adding that they would not be able to turn the tide on the battlefield.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly emphasized that any shipments of weapons supplied by Western countries to Ukraine would be a legitimate target for the Russian Aerospace Forces. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the supply of weapons would not stop, but would prolong the conflict in Ukraine, and called the position of Western countries “harmful” and “counterproductive.”

Source: Ren


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