The F-16 is not a stealth fighter. It is a highly visible and vulnerable target for both the Russian S-300 and S-400 air defense systems, as well as the Su-35 fighters and MiG-31 interceptors. These are the words of a US veteran and military expert who has appeared on Fox, CNN, NBC and BBC US Army Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Davis.
Judge Napolitano interviewed Davis on the Judging Freedom podcast on YouTube. He did a very thorough analysis of recent US decisions on providing military assistance to Ukraine.
For example, Davis said, Ukrainian F-16 pilots are likely to underperform their seasoned F-16 counterparts. He said it is not easy to change your way of thinking and focus when you spend your whole life flying a MiG-29 or Su-27 and the next moment you are expected to perform well when you get on the F-16.
— Judge Napolitano (@Judgenap) May 24, 2023
And Napolitano and Davis believe that, in fact, the Ukrainian pilots will have to forget everything they learned from the old Soviet fighters. However, this is difficult and will affect their “gut reactions”. Davis says this topic was discussed between him and a former US colonel who flew the F-16, who in turn endorsed the view that the mentality would be different among the Ukrainian pilots.
They will be dropped
The two analysts said that the flying skills the Ukrainian pilots acquired on Soviet fighter jets would not be of much use when operating the F-16. Davis believes that the F-16s, flown by Ukrainian pilots, will help defend Kiev. But if they were sent to the front lines, “they could probably be shot down just like the MiG-29s.”
Davis and Napolitano commented on the possibility of Ukrainian F-16s attacking Russian targets on Russian soil. For them and, apparently, for the White House administration, this is a very big red line that could cause a third world war.
The comments by Napolitano and Davis are in line with claims made by many experts in the final months of the war since it became clear that talks were under way to supply Ukraine with the F-16s. However, the two analysts declined to comment on how cost-effective it would be to use the F-16 in a country rife with corruption and constantly under missile attacks from Russia.