F-16 Fighters Will Not Dramatically Change Situation in War – Pentagon

Tuesday, 23 May 2023

Providing Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets is essential in the medium term, but it will remain the same situation in the war unleashed by the Russian Federation.

According to US Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall, the provision of the F-16s "will create intermediate capabilities that Ukrainians do not yet have, but this will not change the situation dramatically" because "so far, aviation force has not been a decisive factor" in the war.

Kendall also noted the effectiveness of the air defence systems in service with Ukraine.

"The F-16s will help the Ukrainians, but they will not change the balance fundamentally," Voice of America quotes Kendall.

He also stressed that the US had "other much higher priorities" in helping Ukraine, which is why the US did not start delivering the aircraft earlier.

"I think it was rational to make this decision now... We need to start thinking ahead for the longer term," Kendall said.

Frank Kendall stated earlier that the supply of F-16 fighters to Ukraine would take "at best several months" (Ukr).

The State Department said yesterday that the United States considers it a priority to provide (Ukr) Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets and will work to achieve this goal in the coming months.

Last week, the UK announced the launch of an international coalition of countries to train Ukrainian pilots on fourth-generation fighters, including the F-16. The alliance already includes the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmarkthe United States and Portugal.

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