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US delays F-16 transfer to Ukraine: expert names the reason

Why Ukraine has not yet received F-16: an expert's answer

The delay in the delivery of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine may be the fault of the United States. The reason is the White House's attempt to "manage" a possible escalation from Russia.

This opinion was expressed in an exclusive interview with OBOZ.UA by Oleksiy Melnyk, co-director of foreign policy programs, coordinator of international projects at the Razumkov Center, military expert. "As for the F-16, with all the gratitude to our American partners, there is an opinion that to a certain extent this delay is also the fault of the United States," the expert said.

Thus, according to Melnyk, White House security advisers may view the fact that Ukraine is receiving F-16s as a kind of provocation by Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin. "First of all, they are afraid of the use of tactical nuclear weapons, and this is not without reason. Because the Russians from time to time throw such messages into the information space," the expert said.

At the same time, he emphasized that F-16 fighters will not be a tool that will change the course of the war.

According to Melnyk, the long training of Ukrainian pilots for F-16 control is fully justified, as it consists of several mandatory stages.

"After completing theoretical retraining, the pilots first fly training flights with instructors, and then the tasks become gradually more complicated. At first, it's takeoff and landing, navigation, piloting, i.e. preparation for combat use of the aircraft. Combat use also occurs as it becomes more complex," he explained.

At the same time, the expert warned that, according to his estimates, the transfer of about a hundred of these fighters to Ukraine, which were announced by the allies, is unlikely to take place by the end of 2024.

Read the full version of the interview with Oleksiy Melnyk on OBOZ.UA soon .

As OBOZ.UA previously reported, the spokesman for the Air Force Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Yurii Ihnat, said that the pilots of the Ukrainian Defense Forces, who are training on American F-16 fighters abroad, are already flying them with instructors. According to him, many factors affect the timing of the training.

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