Two F-16 planes perform a fly-by near the 85th Air Base of the Romanian Air Force in 2016, in Romania [File: Octav Ganea/Inquam Photos via Reuters]
Newsweek: Ukraine Faces Major F-16 Jet Blow
Ukraine will not receive F-16 fighter jets before next year, a Ukrainian air force spokesperson has said, as Kyiv’s backers still hesitate to take the plunge on providing Ukraine with advanced Western jets.
“It is already obvious that we will not be able to protect Ukraine with F-16 jets this autumn and winter,” Ukrainian air force Colonel Yuriy Ihnat said in remarks reported by Ukrainian outlet Ukrinform on Thursday.
Ukraine has long called on its Western supporters to provide fighter jets to supplement its Soviet-era air force. Although Kyiv has received additional Soviet MiG-29 jets from NATO members, Western jets such as the F-16 would be a marked upgrade for the air force, now 18 months into all-out war with Russia’s more modern fleet.
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WNU Editor: This is why the West is reluctant to send F-16s to Ukraine …. Former F-16 pilot says he would not want to fly missions over Ukraine right now, arguing ‘there is no fighting chance’ (Business Insider).
No F-16s For Ukraine This Year
Ukraine says it won’t be able to deploy F16 jets against Russia this year — Evening Standard
Air Force: F-16s can’t defend Ukraine this fall or winter — Kyiv Independent