The US says the F-16 is not a “game changer” weapon if it is given to Kyiv

US Air Force Commander Frank Kendall has commented on the impact of the F-16 on the conflict in Ukraine if the fighter is issued to Kyiv.

“The F-16 fighter jet could give Ukraine a capability it doesn’t currently have. But it won’t be a marked game-changer for Ukraine’s overall military capabilities .  , US Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall spoke at an event in Washington on May 22.

Mr. Kendall said the US-made F-16s would not change the balance of power in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, as powerful air defenses would prevent them from playing a major role in the decision-making process. war results. He also warned that the supply of F-16s would be “considered an escalation on the part of the US”.

The US and its allies are planning to deliver F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine through a “fighter alliance”. Countries such as the US and UK have announced their readiness to support and train Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16s in the near future. The US Department of Defense also does not object to allies and partners providing Ukraine with F-16 aircraft manufactured by Washington. US President Joe Biden on May 21 announced that Ukraine pledged not to use F-16s to attack Russian territory.

Kiev hopes to receive 50 of these aircraft from the West to increase its ability to control the air in the conflict with Russia. Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yury Ihnat said the F-16 could be a “game-changing weapon”. “With the F-16, we will win this conflict,” Ihnat commented.

Ihnat also added that the air defense systems that the West has given so far are not enough to protect the entire territory of Ukraine from Russian airstrikes. “Our territory is very large, the border is long and the front line extends more than 2,500km,” he said. Therefore, according to him, the F-16 can help fill Ukraine’s air defense gap.

Ukrainian officials admit that Kiev’s warplanes from the present Soviet era cannot intercept Russian drones and cruise missiles. If Ukraine’s fleet is supplemented with F-16s, Kiev can attack important Russian targets such as command posts and logistics networks, thereby helping Ukraine quickly regain territory.

Russia’s Ambassador to the United Nations Anatoly Antonov on May 22 warned that Western countries’ plans to transfer F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine will raise questions about NATO’s involvement in the conflict in Ukraine. Ukraine.

Military Watch magazine   underestimated the ability of the F-16 to turn the tide of the Russian-Ukrainian war. According to this magazine, the F-16 will face formidable Russian opponents such as the Su-35, MiG-31 and Su-57. Military Watch  warns that the delivery of F-16 fighters will entail great risks for the US, as these aircraft will face strong fire from the Russian air force and air defense.

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