13:54 11 May 2023

Joint Staff spokesperson: Pentagon needs more funding to provide F-16 jets to Ukraine

Providing Ukraine with the needed number of F-16 fighter jets would require more financial resources than the United States government has currently allocated to the US Department of Defense.

The speaker of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the USA, Colonel Dave Butler, said in an interview with RBC-Ukraine that this would complicate the supply of air defense and artillery shells for the needs of the Ukrainian Defense Forces.

"I can speak a little bit about this as an American, not on behalf of the international community," Butler said. "We have a certain amount of resources allocated to Ukraine, and F-16s are very expensive. The Russians have over 500 fighters. Providing the Ukrainians with the same or at least a competitive number of F-16s would require more resources than our government has allowed us to do now."

According to him, if the US started supplying Ukraine with F-16s, it would be so expensive that providing other necessary weapons would not be possible.

"…If we started supplying Ukraine with F-16s, it would be so expensive that we could not provide what Ukraine needs now: air defense, Patriots, artillery shells, Abrams on approach, etc. Instead, we would spend all our resources on a very complex technically, expensive to maintain, expensive to operate F-16. It is a weighing of one and the other. Probably not everything can be [provided] in full in this case," said a Pentagon representative.

In March, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, said that Ukraine needs F-16 fighter jets.

During the hearings in US Senate Committee on the Armed Forces, the  Pentagon chief, Lloyd Austin, said that the Armed Forces might receive F-16 IV generation fighters in the future.

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: