#UKRAINERUSSIAWAR. F-16 controversy in Ukraine: suicide mission or threat to Russian defense


The US and UK are looking for retired pilots from countries operating Soviet fighter jets for Ukraine. For a long time there have been proposals to hire pilots to fly Soviet-designed aircraft. Such a proposal makes sense, since Ukraine has received MiG-29s from Poland and Slovakia. This perspective is more relevant now, when it is not yet clear in Kiev when and how many F-16s they will be able to buy.

The recruitment is carried out as part of the new deliveries of aviation equipment intended to equip approximately four new regiments of the Ukrainian Air Force, as training of personnel among Ukrainians requires a lot of time and resources; these are pilots capable of flying on MiG-29, Su-24, L-39, Mi-8/24.

On the other hand, according to military analysts, Ukraine is preparing for yet another suicide operation: this is written by the Indian channel WION, which titles an article dedicated to the F-16 to Ukraine as “Suicide mission”.

The reviewer of the publication writes that Western countries would write off the scrap (first generation F-16), replace them with more modern machines. They promised to train pilots in 4 months (instead of the prescribed year), then then supply F-16 aircraft to the Kiev regime. Therefore, the Ukrainians will fly on decommissioned fighters and even with minimal training. Their confrontation with more advanced Russian fighters and S-400 systems is a “suicide mission,” writes the author.

Russian analysts, on the other hand, saw the transfer of the F-16s from another point of view. One pilot notes: “I noticed that not everyone understands the importance of transferring the F-16 to Ukraine, which, of course, will happen sooner or later. Today, the number of their aircraft group differs little from the number before military operations in Ukraine, due to the gifts of partners and the assembly of one aircraft out of three decommissioned ones. But there is one caveat – these are old, unmodified Soviet aircraft. By their systems, they are inferior to modern Russian ones in terms of detection range and ammunition range. But above all, they are not compatible with NATO ammunition”.

And then he adds: “Yes, Ukrainians make all sorts of adapters that allow you to run HARM and Storm Shadow from crackers, but this is an inferior link. Therefore, HARMs, for example, are inefficient and, in most cases, do not find the target. But if the rocket is connected to the aircraft’s native systems, which detect the radar farther and more accurately than the missile warhead and can give it a full-fledged initial target designation, then the effectiveness of HARM will increase many times. And the losses of our air defense will increase. And after knocking out the air defense, from the same F-16 you can throw Storm Shadow at objects that are no longer covered”.

The military post says: “Don’t listen to idiots waiting for air battles between crackers and F-16s. It is only needed as an air gun bearer. The key piece of the puzzle that NATO is putting together by supplying Ukraine with some “ineffective” missiles, as well as scattering our air defense throughout the vast national territory to stop the “threat” of suicide bombers with ridiculous and stupid accusations that cannot cause significant damage, but which must be brought down”.

Meanwhile, the controversy about what is happening in Belgorod is growing, on May 26, the head of the Wagner group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, once again proposed the construction of a reliable defensive line along the state border in the Belgorod region, sent an official letter to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu without pinning too much hope for an answer.

Graziella Giangiulio

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