"In priority is the F-16, but..." Commander of the Air Force Oleshchuk explained which aircraft Ukraine actually needs
The priority in the development of the Ukrainian Air Force is the introduction of F-16 aircraft, on which Ukrainian pilots are already undergoing retraining. However, experts are considering other opportunities to increase the combat potential of aviation.
This was announced by Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk. He noted that the Ukrainian Air Force currently has four main types of combat aircraft, which will be gradually replaced by Western equipment.
"To make it clear, I, as the commander of the Air Force, fully support the position of the Commander of the Land Forces, Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi, on strengthening the capabilities of strike aircraft to support the offensive and defensive actions of the Defense Forces.
I emphasize that the Air Force has considered and is considering various aviation platforms to strengthen and further develop Ukraine's combat aviation," Oleshchuk said.
The Air Force Commander emphasized that Ukraine is considering receiving assistance from partners in providing multi-role aircraft, attack aircraft, and helicopters. However, it will be difficult to immediately abandon the operation of Soviet aircraft, so both F-16s and MiG-29s will continue to operate in the Ukrainian sky. It is possible that Mirage-2000Ds may be used to increase the combat capabilities of Su-24M bombers, and A-10 Thunderbolt IIs may be used for Su-25 attack aircraft.
"Recently, we have discussed with Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi promising areas for further work in the development and strengthening of the aviation component of the Air Force and Army Aviation of the Land Forces. We are doing everything to ensure that our troops are covered from the air and that the enemy feels the powerful fist of strike aircraft," Oleshchuk said.
Earlier, the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine commented on the statement of the Commander of the Land Forces, Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi, about the need for the Armed Forces of Ukraine for American A-10 Thunderbolt attack aircraft. They emphasized that Ukraine has not sent an official request for A-10s, as the number one issue is the development of the F-16.
The day before, Syrskyi said that the Ukrainian Armed Forces needed American A-10 Thunderbolt attack aircraft to support infantry and aircraft that could fire long-range cruise missiles. According to the colonel general, they will provide decisive support to ground forces when trying to seize the initiative against a well-equipped enemy.