Ukraine states concern over US A-10 strike fighters as they would become “an easy target” for Russia

According to a Ukrainian defence official, the US A-10 low-altitude close air support aircraft “has a tactical disadvantage” and might become an easy target for Russia.

“The A-10 fighter will not dominate our skies, nor will it halt enemy bombers and missiles,” Yuriy Sak, an assistant to Ukraine’s defence minister, stated on July 26.

Sak made the statement after some US air force officials stated last week that an A-10 attack aircraft could be provided to the Ukrainian air force to fight the Russian military onslaught.

“The A-10 will become a target for Russian fighters and air defences since we lack sufficient ways to support these attacks or penetrate the enemy’s air defence system,” Sak said.

According to Mr. Sak, the A-10 attack “can demolish ground targets quite well, even outperforming many other aircraft,” but it is not fit for Ukraine’s current military needs. The delivery of A-10 fighters may also have an impact on funds for the process of assisting the Ukrainian Air Force in transitioning to newer fighters such as the F-16.

According to Sak, the A-10 carries more sophisticated and precise armaments than Ukraine’s Su-25 assault aircraft, but it still has the same tactical weaknesses as the Soviet-era aircraft. “When utilising rockets and unguided bombs, the A-10, like the Su-25, becomes an easy target for Russian air defence,” he stated.

Defense officials from Ukraine and the United States are negotiating the purchase of an aircraft that will aid the Eastern European country in repelling Russian forces and building up its air force in the future.

Frank Kendall, the secretary of the US Air Force, was questioned about whether the US intended to send A-10s to Ukraine at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado last week.

According to Minister Kendall, “the Ukrainian side is mostly responsible for this.” We are willing to talk about their needs and how we might address them.

The Ukrainian Air Force announced in March that it wanted to purchase F-15 and F-16 fighter aircraft and claimed that its pilots could “learn to fly these types of warplanes in about 2-3 weeks.” However, according to military experts, it might take more time to transfer the fighter to the Ukrainian Air Force.

Under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2023, the US House of Representatives recently approved a budget of $100 million to educate Ukrainian pilots to fly American combat aircraft. While the Ukrainian Air Force continues to offer to purchase F-16s from the US even as the war with Russia enters its sixth month, it is unclear how this money will be used.

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