Ukraine needs a squadron of F-16s to ‘scare away’ Russian planes

هل سيواجه الطيارون الأوكرانيون بمقاتلات إف-16 وجهًا لوجه مع روسيا؟

Ukraine wants to have a squadron of around 12-16 F-16 fighter jets to take back control of its airspace from Russia.

In an interview with Donbass Realya, Brigadier General Serhiy Golubtsov of the Ukrainian Air Force explained how the F-16s will help the country in the ongoing war.

Experts told Golubtsov that the F-16 was the best choice for Kiev because it is mass-produced and operated by more than two dozen countries. “(This is) a multi-role aircraft. It can perform air defense missions, fight air targets, and strike ground and surface targets…. The only thing that makes it inferior to the latest aircraft is stealth technology.”

He said that the Russian Air Force operates Su-35 and MiG-31BM fighters that are capable of using a range of missiles such as the R-77 (range of 100 km) and R-37 missiles (200 km).

He said, “We don’t have such an opportunity yet…. If we simply had a platform capable of using, for example, American AIM-120 air-to-air missiles (AMRAAM) with a range of about 180 kilometers, we would not allow them (Russian aircraft) to approach the border at the launch distance of these missiles.”

Also, Russian aircraft “actively use guided aerial bombs, in addition to their aircraft creating obstacles to the operation of anti-aircraft missile systems.”

“In order to use these aerial bombs, they (Russian planes) have to get close to 40-45 km. Sometimes you take risks, and in order to be able to fly further, you go 30-35 km closer.”

“There are areas where we don’t have adequate anti-aircraft systems and they can do it with impunity. Wherever there is an opportunity, they are destroyed. They are dragging planes deep into their territory. In the presence of F-16s, we can simply prevent them from reaching this border, they still use these bombs, because if they do, they will fall on the heads of their forces,” the official explained.

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The F-16 “takes off from the airfield, from a distance of 100-150 km, goes to the desired destination and waits there for the strike group that will go out for the attack mission, and fires at them.”

When asked how many F-16s Ukraine would need, Golubtsov said, “Even a pair of aircraft capable of firing a missile at a distance of more than 100 km will make the enemy think before any adventure… We will hide them in our formations of combat aircraft.”

“But if we speak seriously, in order to plan an operation to destroy or carry out strikes, it is necessary to understand that a certain level of support is required. To plan an operation from A to Z, I think it is worth talking about at least a squadron, no less than 12-16 aircraft.”

If Ukraine had 3-4 squadrons of F-16s, the official claims, “we would be able to achieve air superiority and force the enemy to completely abandon the strikes it is currently conducting in a certain area, on a certain defensive corridor.”

Golubtsov further stated that Lockheed Martin inspected Ukrainian airports in 2021 and found three of them good enough to operate F-16s. “It was concluded that the runways and runways are quite suitable for the normal operation of F-16s….. In our country, everything is designed for Soviet-made aircraft, so we need to improve logistical issues, storage issues, and aircraft maintenance. The experts did not have any particular complaints about the runways.

What do you think?

Written by rfrfx

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