16:11 03 Sep 2023

Ukraine's defense minister expects pilots to use F-16 in combat next spring

Ukraine's Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov believes pilots will have F-16s for use at the front in the spring of 2024, he said during an interview with Ukrinform

The minister said that he had written "more than one letter" of commitment that Ukraine would not use NATO weapons in Russia.

Since today we have permission to study, there are countries that have volunteered to teach, and even transfer the F-16 to us after the completion of training and infrastructure preparation, the head of department emphasized.

Reznikov modeled the F-16s issue with the metaphor of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy.

"And at one time, there was a discussion about why the hobbits could not sit on eagles and easily deliver the ring to a mountain of fire.

They couldn't, actually. Because they needed:

  • a) the political will to grant eagles;
  • b) obtaining approval from 'governments of eagle states';
  • c) it was necessary to ensure the training of 'eagle pilots', to prepare an airbase for them, and specialists who would serve them, feed them, and take care of their nests;
  • d) and throughout this time, those states with eagles would repeat the same argument: 'And why do you need eagles if you are countering Sauron so well already?'."

The allies' refusal to provide the F-16 has never been on the political plane. He explained that the West was afraid of escalation and also trying not to draw NATO into a war with Russia.

Previously, the defense minister stated that Ukrainian forces have already implemented 287 NATO standards, and by the end of the year, they plan to introduce about 200 standards of the North Atlantic Alliance.

F-16 for Ukraine

  • The US has approved sending F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine from Denmark and the Netherlands to regain air dominance as soon as pilot training is completed, a Reuters source said on Thursday.
  • The issue of providing Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets was previously brought up at a Ramstein defense-related summit in June.
  • After the meeting, Ukraine's partners pledged to approve a training program for the pilots, engineers, and technicians on F-16 fighter jets, with the training taking place in a specially created center in a European country.
  • The prime ministers of the Netherlands and Great Britain, Mark Rutte and Rishi Sunak, agreed to work on forming an international coalition of fighter jets for Ukraine. Denmark announced it had joined the coalition too.
  • The US has approved the transfer of training equipment for F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine at Denmark's request, which should bring the start of training for pilots on these aircraft closer.
  • The Netherlands and Denmark have greenlighted the delivery of F-16 fighters to Ukraine after Ukrainian pilots complete their training.
  • Sooner, Ukraine's allies reached an agreement to provide 42 F-16 fighter jets.

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