Australia, the United States and Ukraine are discussing sending 41 F/A-18 Hornet of the Royal Australian Air Force to Kiev to help fulfill part of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s request for the fighter jets, rather than sending them to a scrap site as planned.
Sources told The Australian Financial Review (AFR) that the US, which recently gave permission to its other Western allies to supply Ukraine with advanced fighter jets, including the US-made F-16s, is positively leaning towards the idea of giving Ukraine the F/A-18s. .
“The retired F/A-18s are parked in a hangar at RAAF Base Williamtown outside Newcastle (NSW, Australia) and unless they are sent to Ukraine, they will either be sent for scrap or sold to a private airline, RAVN Aerospace, for use in the States.” The United States as “enemies” for military pilots to train against, according to the AFR.
The AFR says negotiations are underway, confirmed Australian security expert Robert Potter, who advises the Ukrainian government, but no agreement has been reached as of this time.
A separate source close to the discussions agreed that “it didn’t make sense to destroy a perfectly good aircraft that he said could be operational in four months and used to help repel a Russian invasion,” AFR reported.