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Ukraine may be set to receive its first F-16s soon

New Uptade

By OlaoluwaPublished about a month ago 3 min read
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Ukraine may be set to receive its first F-16s soon
Photo by Chandler Cruttenden on Unsplash

Ukraine may receive its first F-16 fighter jets after May 5th according to a spokesperson from the Ukrainian Air Force. But how could the multi-role fighters make a difference on the battlefield? Here’s what we know. Ukrainian Air Force spokesperson Ilya Yevlash revealed that Ukraine might be receiving its batch of F-16s after May 5th following Orthodox Easter. However, he didn’t provide a firm date since it has changed often.

"They can be supplied after Easter," Yevlash explained while responding to a question about the timeline for delivering F-16s to Kyiv according to a translation of his remarks from The New Voice of Ukraine. Yevlash went on to explain that the Air Force could not guess the exact date when the countries would be supplied to Ukraine since the dates were “changed several times,” which is a fact that was correct.

The Kyiv Post noted in its reporting on Yevlash’s comments that Ukraine was initially set to receive its first F-16s before the New Year but added that the delivery dates had been changed a number of times. More recent reports suggested that Ukraine would likely receive its first F-16s sometime in the second quarter of 2024, which aligns with Yevlash’s remarks about when Ukraine would receive its first fighters.

Yevlash went on to explain in his interview that the Ukrainian Air Force’s task was “to work with what is provided to us, we are not directly responsible for supplies, this is a question for the highest military-political leadership.” “When the first fighters arrive in Ukraine, we will definitely talk about it,” Yevlash added. However, publicly announcing that the first F-16s are in use in Ukraine might not be the best strategy for the Air Force.

In 2023, the Kyiv Post reported that the F-16 could provide Ukraine with four crucial and critical functions, the first of which was improving the country’s air defenses since the jet would allow Kyiv to operate a wider array of missions.

F-16 fighter pilots could defend the country’s cities and skies on missions to take down Russian long-range missiles and intercept missiles launched from Moscow’s strategic bombers and fighter-bombers aircraft.

Ukraine would also be able to become more aggressive in its offensive actions with air cover from its F-16s. This would improve the country’s combined arms movements and “sustainably change the power equation,” the Kyiv Post reported. Finally, providing Ukraine with F-16s could also represent a strategic shift for the West which could allow the country’s partners and allies to be bolder and broader about what to give Kyiv and how they can use Western arms.

It was thought F-16s would help build Ukraine’s momentum since the jets would have a “multiplier effect beyond its operational impact in terms of Ukrainian forces’ focus and purpose” from foot soldiers to Commander-in-Chief the Kyiv Post wrote.

While some of these benefits likely still hold true in 2024, there has been speculation that the help the F-16 can bring to Ukraine won’t be as profound as it could have been in 2023 when Kyiv needed the fighter jets for its summer offensive.

“Every weapon has its own right time. F-16s were needed in 2023; they won’t be right for 2024,” one Ukrainian senior military official told Politico, noting that Russia now has the ability to counter F-16s. "In the last few months, we started to notice missiles being fired… but without the explosive warheads,” the senior Ukrainian military official explained. “We couldn’t understand what they were doing, and then we figured it out.” “They’re range-finding,” the officer added, revealing Russia was working to understand how to employ its S-400 air defense systems to cover the most area so that they could target F-16s and keep them away from the frontlines.

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About the Creator

Olaoluwa

Ola was born 24th May 2011

He is a Story teller, Reasearcher, Poem Writer and lot more

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