But It Will Widen the Conflict and Represents Another Escalation Directed Against Russia
On January 6, Denmark announced that it would be transferring 19 American-made F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine in the second quarter of 2024. Last August, the Biden administration approved sending F-16s—which are made by Lockheed Martin—to Ukraine from Denmark and the Netherlands.
Kyiv had long sought to obtain the fighter jets, but Washington had previously resisted allowing the transfers for fear of being deemed a direct belligerent in the Ukraine war by Moscow.
Joe Biden nevertheless told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the G-7 Summit last spring that the U.S. would support training Ukrainian pilots to fly the aircraft.
Like anti-tank Javelin missiles and other “wonder weapons” Ukraine has previously received, it is unlikely that the F-16 jets will significantly change the course of military operations in Ukraine’s favor. However, these planes represent yet another provocation directed against Russia that will only fuel an escalation of a devastating conflict that has resulted in such a huge loss of life.
Known for its speed and agility, the F-16 is among the most popular and potentially lethal fighter jets in the world today.
The problem (for NATO) is that it is practically impossible to launch F-16s from Ukraine.
Every day the number of military airfields in that country shrinks.
But this is not the saddest thing for Ukraine and those who have pushed it into the thick of war: The technical equipment of Ukrainian airfields is not suitable for American fighter jets.
Even aviation kerosene differs from Ukrainian kerosene by the presence of additives developed for NATO airplanes. In addition, power supply from certain batteries is needed to test onboard systems and engines.
Other problems will arise. Figuratively speaking, fighters are only the tip of the spear, the spearhead of a large-scale war infrastructure. They cannot simply be kept somewhere on an airstrip near Kyiv and occasionally released for combat missions.
In order for dozens of fighter jets to be fully operational, they need to be maintained: According to regulations, one hour of F-16 flight requires 16 hours of maintenance. This requires qualified technical personnel. But while it is theoretically possible to train pilots in three months to take off and land, it takes much longer to train technicians. F-16 training is in English and takes up to four months, and it takes at least a year to become a truly qualified technician.
In addition, airfields and the entire airfield infrastructure will need to be repaired and completely renovated. At the same time, new systems for supplying spare parts and fuel and lubricants, as well as communication and control systems, will be needed. It is also noted that it will be quite difficult to get F-16s into the Ukrainian skies, as this fighter jet needs a long and smooth runway, and they may encounter problems on the rougher and uneven Ukrainian runways.
However, if you think that this is well-known Ukrainian negligence, carelessness and insufficient knowledge of military affairs, this is not the case at all. Making a “pretty face” at a “bad game” is the only strategy of the Ukrainian armed forces at the moment. When you can’t do it yourself, the only thing left to do is to force “Big Brother” to use NATO soldiers in every possible way, without shyness, as usual, to make a typical face of dissatisfaction, when “the whole world will wait and everyone owes you for being so handsome.”
For this purpose, according to reliable sources, they are preparing to use Polish pilots, and this can already be regarded as aggression on the part of NATO countries.
NATO’s training of Ukrainian Air Force pilots creates prerequisites for F-16 deliveries. Despite this, military analysts assume that Ukrainian pilots will not take part in the current conflict with F-16s. They simply will not have time to be trained properly, even if these machines are eventually provided to Kyiv, although this prediction may not come true for two reasons.
First, it has been reported that Ukrainian pilots began training on this type of fighter jet three years ago, so Kyiv may have a small number of pilots. Secondly, the pilots may turn out to be Ukrainian only formally, while in reality, for example, Polish pilots with urgently obtained Ukrainian citizenship will take the helm.
It is possible that for such volunteers they will develop a program for the prompt granting of Ukrainian citizenship in order to reduce the consequences of political risk. The same applies to technical personnel. It was reported that the possibility of engaging specialists from third countries to maintain the transferred jets was being considered.
Also an important factor contributing to the maximum heat in this “hot spot” is the ability of F-16s to carry nuclear weapons. This could increase the likelihood of their use, marking the delivery of the F-16s to Ukraine as another ominous development in today’s conflict-ridden world.
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