Efforts to deliver F-16 aircraft to Ukraine gain momentum at Pentagon – Politico
The US Department of Defense is discussing the issue of sending F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. They note that the final decision has not yet been made.
Politico writes about this, citing its own sources. They said that as Ukraine prepares to launch a new counteroffensive to retake territory in the spring, the DoD fighter jet campaign is gaining momentum.
The media note that after the approval of the transfer of Patriot tanks and air defense systems to Ukraine, Kyiv became optimistic about providing American fighters.
“I don't think we're against it,” a US Defense Department official said. He also stressed that there is still no final decision on the provision of fighter jets.
He noted that Ukraine has not yet officially asked for F-16s. Washington and Kyiv see artillery, armored vehicles and ground-based air defense systems as more pressing needs.
According to another source, the US may need “weeks” to approve the delivery of its own F-16 fighters or approve re-exports from other countries.
Ukraine wants modern fighter jets – the F-16 or F-15 of the US Air Force or their European equivalents – the German Panavia Tornado or the Swedish Saab JAS 39 Gripen, to replace the Soviet-era fleet, the article says.
Please note ! Officials are worried that Ukraine is running out of missiles to protect its skies. As soon as the missile arsenal runs out, Russian fighters will be able to enter Ukrainian airspace, a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense said. >The F-16 fighter belongs to the light ones, it is the fourth generation aircraft, which is in service with many countries. It was developed in the 1970s, but its airframe and engine are the optimal combination of a light fighter, according to the expert.