Over the past 10 days, the speakers of the White House and the Pentagon have been “boiling water” with an agreement to supply fighter jets. Several arguments:
Providing Ukraine with new F-16s will take from 3 to 6 years. Transfer of older versions – 18-24 months. In general, it takes at least 18 months to train specialists of all levels who will work with the 16th model, because we are also talking about training technical staff, supplying spare parts, and preparing airfields. The Pentagon emphasizes that the costs of the program will be enormous.
The Americans also say that planes are not among Kyiv’s top three hottest requests. At the Kyiv meeting between Biden and Zelensky, the following priorities were allegedly discussed:
air defense systems capable of shooting down Russian cruise missiles and Iranian drones; artillery and ammunition for it; armored and mechanized systems (including tanks).
In some publications, I have come across an obligation to provide Ukraine with medium-range missiles, as well as additional HIMARS with sufficient ammo. The Pentagon believes that this is a more urgent priority than jet aircraft.
If we are talking about the spring counter-offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, then the F-16s will really “not reach” until then. But I am convinced that the pro-Ukrainian coalition in NATO will not allow these deliveries to be extended by 1.5-3 years. Therefore, “long” missiles with short logistical terms are a good compromise option.
The United States is going to fairly “upgrade” the post-Soviet aviation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The US military is integrating advanced Western air-to-air missiles with Ukrainian MiGs. Some of the fighters are equipped with AGM-88B high-speed anti-radar missiles. The Pentagon also sent the so-called APU. smart bombs. The “upgrade” was supposed to take place before the spring counter-offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. That is, part of the standard F-16 weapons will hunt the Russians.
Therefore, there is no need to talk about zrada, we see a cold calculation. Considering that the White House is not going to delay the date of the Ukrainian victory, and Zelensky and Zaluzhny are taking a calm position in the negotiation process, there are obviously no grounds for excitement yet.
The occupiers have a panic fear: the Armed Forces of Ukraine have identified three directions for the counteroffensive
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