In service in Europe: Melnyk said which fighters, except F-16s, can help Ukraine
Apart from the F-16s, Ukraine can also be helped on the battlefield by other Western fighters. In particular, we may be talking about Eurofighter or Tornado combat aircraft, which can serve as carriers of Storm Shadow missiles received from Britain.
Andriy Melnyk, Ukraine's first deputy foreign minister and former Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, said this in an interview with the Orestokratiya project. According to him, the issue of supplies of modern Western fighters to Kyiv is actually "starting to move on the political plane as well," since it is obvious that the allies in Europe are capable of providing aviation capacity.
"If we take the Eurofighter - only four countries have them in service, not only Germany, but first of all Great Britain, Spain, Italy. That is our basic, key major allies in Europe. They own about 500 planes," Melnyk said.
He noted that the Eurofighter is "quite still a modern aircraft that has been baptized in combat in many parts of the world.
"I think it's not as an alternative to the F-16, but as a kind of transitional, intermediate stage. So that our pilots can be trained in the same way. There are no obstacles for this," noted the deputy foreign minister.
Melnik reminded that exactly two Eurofighters escorted the governmental plane, on which the President Vladimir Zelenskiy flew from Rome to Berlin, about what the German mass media proudly wrote.
"When I read this - it would be better to send these planes together to Ukraine so that they could be involved in the preparation of the big counterattack that we are all expecting," the diplomat admitted.
According to him, the idea of the aviation coalition is that many countries will participate in it, and each in its own way: someone will provide aircrafts, someone will provide military airfields or training.
"It's also about diversity, that is, not just one type of aircraft, but other types of aircraft that can complement each other. We need Storm Shadow missile carriers, which we're starting to get now. ...It's a missile we need, but we need aircraft for that, because they're air-to-ground or air-to-air missiles. The same Eurofighter or Tornado are another type of aircraft, there's a different specificity there. These are the aircraft that can carry these missiles," Melnyk explained.
As reported by OBOZREVATEL:
- EU chief diplomat Josep Borrel said on May 22 that the training of Ukrainian pilots on F-16s has already begun. He admitted that Ukraine will receive the fighters in the near future.
- The US Department of State earlier said that deliveries of F-16s to Ukraine were a priority for the USA and that training of pilots would start in the next few months.
- The Ukrainian Defence Ministry hinted that the F-16s would protect the Ukrainian sky in autumn.
- On 19 May, US President Joe Biden said that he supported the allies' efforts to train Ukrainian pilots. The training will probably take place in Europe. The "coalition of fighters" also includes Britain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Portugal and France.
- Russia threatened the West with "colossal risks" because of the supply of F-16s to Ukraine.
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