Ukraine wants 24 warplanes in 1st phase of West's aid

TEHRAN, Jan. 28 (MNA) – The spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force has said that the Ukrainian army intends to obtain more than 24 F-16 fighter jets from its international allies in the first phase.

"Two battalions with 12 combat aircraft each. This is the new military aid package that the Ukrainian army intends to obtain from its international allies," Colonel Yurii Ihnat, Spokesman for the Air Forces Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine told Spanish newspaper El Pais in an interview.

According to the spokesman, the Air Force's priority is to receive US F-16s, although Kyiv considers other options such as French Rafale and Swedish Gripen.

"The 24 fighters — ideally they should be American F-16s — would represent only an urgent first phase in a new chapter in the delivery of weapons to Ukraine."

According to media reports, unlike the recent influx of promises for western tanks, Ukraine has yet to receive any solid offers of modern fighter jets from allies like the US, France, the Netherlands, Denmark and others. But it’s preparing airfields across the country in anticipation of deliveries of multi-role jets like US-made F-16 Fighting Falcons or French Mirage or Rafale fighters.

Integrating jets like those into the Ukrainian Air Force would not only require training for pilots and maintainers, but it would also require making sure more modern jets have safe places to operate from.

The observers have warned that the deliveries of tanks and warplanes could escalate the conflict and could drag the US into direct confrontation with Russia.


News Code 196711


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