Not only F-16s: the Air Force told what else Ukraine needs to beat the enemy in the sky
F-16 fighters alone are not enough for the Ukrainian army to gain an advantage over the Russian occupiers in the sky. In addition to the aircraft, the Ukrainian Air Force needs powerful radars and weapons.
However, it is currently impossible to say exactly how many missiles Ukraine will receive along with the F-16s. Yuriy Ihnat, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force Command, said this during the telethon.
According to Ihnat, the main missile in service with the F-16 is the AIM-120 AMRAAM. By the way, the same munition is used in the NASAMS air defence system.
At the same time, the spokesperson for the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine stressed that air strike weapons are very expensive, so this should also be kept in mind.
"The F-16 has different air strike capabilities - ground, surface and air targets. There are different types of air-to-air missiles, and the main missile in service with NATO is the AIM-120 AMRAAM. This missile has various modifications, and our NASAMS are operating with such missiles today. Different modifications of missiles have different strike ranges and, accordingly, their cost is different, and this is also worth talking about. Air defence systems are very expensive. One NASAMS missile costs half a million dollars," Ihnat said.
At the same time, Ihnat added that some modifications of the AIM-120 AMRAAM can hit enemy targets at a distance of 180 kilometres. This gives them an advantage over the Russian Su-35. However, in addition to missiles, Ukrainian aviation also needs powerful radars.
"There are modifications of the AIM-120 AMRAAM missile that can hit targets up to 180 kilometres away. This is more than enough to threaten Russian Su-35s. Therefore, our aviation must have powerful radars and powerful missiles. We must not be inferior in terms of technical characteristics to the same Su-35. This way we will be able to gain air superiority," Ihnat explained.
As a reminder, a Ukrainian pilot with the call sign Moonfish, who is currently undergoing training on an F-16 fighter jet, said that the allies had taken Ukraine's wishes into account when drawing up the training plan. According to him, more attention will be paid to missions that meet the realities of the Russian-Ukrainian war.
Earlier it was reported that the Netherlands and Denmark are committed to provide Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets, but the delivery will take place after certain conditions are met. These conditions include trained Ukrainian personnel and the necessary permits, infrastructure and logistics.
As OBOZREVATEL previously reported, Ukraine traditionally celebrates Aviation Day on the last Saturday of August, not only civilian but also military aviation. It plays an extremely important role in wartime, as it resists Russian missiles, drones, and bombs, which, when they hit, cause a lot of damage to Ukrainian cities.