13:58 01 May 2023

"That which is impossible today, will be possible tomorrow": Ukraine's defense minister believes US will provide Ukraine with modern fighter jets

Photo: Rubryka

Ukraine's Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov is sure that Ukraine will receive modern 4+ generation fighters from the US; he explains the delay by the practicality and sober calculation of the partners.

Reznikov stated this in an interview broadcasted on the national telethon on May 1, Ukrainian Pravda reports.

"I have gone through the evolution from the words "no, Oleksii, it's impossible" to real projects several times already. The first time I heard "no" in relation to Stingers [an American man-portable air-defense system – ed.] was in November 2021, when I had just taken up a position with no relevant experience, with great challenges and tasks from President Zelensky. But now I know for sure: "which is impossible today will be possible tomorrow." We received Stingers already in January (in 2 months) from our Lithuanian friends with the consent of the partners," he said

According to the minister, the same situation happened with 155 mm caliber artillery (in March, there was a conversation that it was unrealistic, in May, Ukraine received the first 155 mm systems), Himars, MLRS, Iris-T, NASAMS, and even more so – Patriot, whose receipt seemed fantastic. Now two divisions have taken up combat work in Ukraine.

"Therefore, modern generation 4+ aircraft will also be provided unambiguously. Why is there a delay? Of course, it does not suit us (because it is the deaths and injuries of the Ukrainian military, and this [human power -ed.]  is our primary value, unlike the Russians)… And we explain this to our partners because modern aviation platforms are an essential element of air defense. But partners (now I do not justify them, but I explain) are very practical in making decisions. And in this practicality, there is a certain clear sense: they are responsible for the decisions about what to give us next.

What does it mean? If they decide to give us, for example, the M777 (155 mm howitzer), they continue to help us maintain them in good condition (spare barrels, wheels, spare parts) so that we can continue to use them.

Knowing that if they decide to give us combat aircraft: either order new ones, which takes time, or provide the existing ones, which must be removed from combat duty or reserves, and it also takes time to prepare them, train our pilots, of course, and then keep the planes in combat condition and provide them with weapons, i.e., missiles and bombs. This is a very expensive, the most costly story.

Even the Patriot system costs a billion plus missiles, and one plane costs about 120 million, and then it has to be maintained. Ten jets are already one billion two hundred.

So when they calculate their budgets, they understand that they will need the authorization of Congress, and the taxpayers will have to agree to this. At the same time, they must not reduce the level of assistance that we already receive.

They consciously and responsibly want to reach the finish line of this marathon, that is, to the victory of Ukraine," Reznikov said.

For reference:

Given the current war on its territory, Ukrainian pilots are wellacquainted with MiG29 jets, which would serve primarily as an air defense system to intercept Russian aircraft and cruise missiles.

With the fighter jets being of sufficient speed and maneuverability to protect Ukrainian infrastructure and the frontlines, a major issue lies in the deployment of the aircraft; it is unclear whether Ukraine would be able to secure and maintain the plane in the long run.

President Volodymyr Zelensky has expressed Ukraine's interest in US-made F-16s, which are currently utilized by several European Union member states. After weeks of deliberation among Western nations regarding the provision of battle tanks to Ukraine, Zelensky remarked during the presentation of an airforce helmet to the Speaker of the House of the United Kingdom, Lindsay Hoyle, that inscribed upon the helmet was the phrase, "we have freedom, give us wings to protect it."

As Ukraine embarks on its counteroffensive in the spring, it has appealed to its Western allies to provide additional military aid, including tanks and aircraft, to ensure effective operations. Ukraine is hopeful that squadrons of combat aircraft can be employed to either support an offensive or repel an attack by Russian forces.

Read alsoDozens of pilots ready to fight on F-16s – Ukraine's Air Force Command spokesperson

If you have found a spelling error, please, notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: