These planes worked here during Euro 2012: is Ukraine ready to receive Western aviation
During the history of negotiations with Western countries regarding the possible delivery of modern aircraft to Ukraine, there have been many versions why Ukraine is not yet ready for this. There were also arguments that there seemed to be no infrastructure in Ukraine to serve the F-16, but Ukrainian airfields already received them in 2012.
Yury Ignat, spokesman for the command of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, told Channel 24 about this. According to him, the aviation infrastructure is primarily runways, and in Ukraine they are capable of receiving Western aviation.
Ukraine has already received Western aircraft
Yuriy Ignat said that in 2018 Ukraine received American F-15 Eagle aircraft of the California Air National Guard. These aircraft were received at the airfield in Starokonstantinov. Since that time, Ukrainian and American pilots have become friends and exchange messages about the situation in Ukraine.
Regarding the F-15 aircraft, Yuri Ignat said that they have large wheels, large air intakes and they have 2 engines, unlike the F-16. Compared to the F-15, the F-16 is smaller and has smaller wheels and air intakes.
According to the speaker of the Air Force Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, many discussions continue about the possibility of taking off the F-16 from the Ukrainian Air Force airfields, which are mainly concrete slabs with resin between the seams.
Ukraine already had F-16s and F-15s: watch the video
Ignat noted that in 2012, F-16s with American pilots were temporarily based at the Mirgorod airfield, performing security tasks during Euro 2012.
Highway as an airfield
Yuri Ignat noted that the Ministry of Infrastructure, using the current modern technologies, can build an asphalt concrete strip that can receive F-16s. You can even use roads for this.
In all countries of the world, some sections of roads are airfields that can receive aircraft. Conditionally, the route without signs and trees is blocked for 2-3 kilometers, and it becomes an airfield,” Ignat noted.
He added that this can be done much faster than teaching pilots or engineering staff. For, for example, in order to teach engineering staff, it is necessary to teach not only engineering for specific aircraft, but also English, because technical documentation is conducted in English.
“This is all complex work, which is why the issue of transferring aircraft is so serious. You can’t just take them and transport them like a tank or an armored personnel carrier, there is an integrated approach here. Everything will be fine with the infrastructure if there is a solution,” Yuri Ignat emphasized.
What is known about the likely delivery of Western aircraft
- The United States, on which the transfer of F-16 aircraft to Ukraine depends, is not yet considering the transfer of these aircraft to Ukraine. Before that, they were not even prompted by the decision of Poland to transfer 4 MiG-29s.
- Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmitry Kuleba called the supply of fighter jets to Ukraine a very difficult task and noted that he did not expect any quick decisions.
- While Ukraine waits for modern aviation, some countries are reinforcing their air fleet with Soviet aircraft, which Ukrainian pilots already know how to fly and do not need additional training time.