Ukraine to receive F-16 fighter jets. Why is it so important?
Mind Explains

Ukraine to receive F-16 fighter jets. Why is it so important?

Ukraine's Western allies have committed to delivering the first batch of F-16 aircraft by the end of this year

Ukraine to receive F-16 fighter jets. Why is it so important?

Denmark and the Netherlands are among the first partners to confirm their readiness. The delivery timeline, however, is influenced by political decisions, which in turn depend on broader politics, diplomatic efforts, and the current international agenda. That said, politicians in the European Union typically uphold their commitments. Hence, there's strong reason to believe the allies will honour their promise.

Yuriy Atanov, a serviceman of the 40th Ghost of Kyiv Brigade, delved into the reasons the Ukrainian Air Forces specifically need the F-16s and discussed potential challenges to their deployment.

F-16s have specific requirements

A primary concern about delivering these jets to Ukraine was the possible absence of suitable runways. Yet, according to the Air Force Commander, Mykola Oleshchuk, such jets have already touched down in Ukraine. While not diving deep into specifics, it is inferred they can be operated there. From what I gather, even without a formal airfield, a levelled tarmac road, once cleared, can serve as a makeshift runway. Quick-to-construct shelters for the aircraft are also feasible. Considering Ukraine's ongoing roadworks, creating a few kilometres of runway in a discreet location seems achievable.

F-16s are versatile in combat

Unlike the Soviet aircraft russia employs, the F-16 is a multi-role fighter. It is adept at varied combat tasks, from targeting aerial targets to engaging ground and naval units. This versatility expands the array of weaponry Ukraine can procure: certain missiles, previously incompatible with our jets, are now within reach. Dominance in the skies offers a distinct edge in warfare – an edge the russians initially had but couldn't fully leverage.

"If we had a sufficient number of these fighter jets and long-range missiles at our disposal, sirens would be blaring in moscow, rostov, and kursk. By now, russians, alongside their children, would be seeking refuge in basements," remarked Yuriy Atanov.

F-16s are state-of-the-art aircraft

While the MiG-29 hasn't seen significant updates since the early 1980s and is now viewed as outdated, the F-16, often referred to as the American jet, has undergone numerous modifications.

In fighter aviation, the edge goes to whoever detects the opponent first. As a result, optical visibility is crucial in aerial combat. The F-16 features an AESA radar capable of identifying targets up to 80 km away, double the 40 km range of the MiG-29. Impressively, the F-16's radar can track as many as 35 targets simultaneously and target up to eight. These can be either aerial or ground-based targets. On the other hand, the MiG-29's radars can monitor up to 10 targets but can only engage one at a given moment.

The F-16 comes equipped with a diverse arsenal, encompassing various missiles and both guided and unguided bombs. This includes air-to-air missiles like the standard AIM-7 and AIM-120 AMRAAM. Its air-to-ground missiles consist of the AGM-65 Maverick, AGM-84 Harpoon for naval strikes, and the anti-radiation missile, AGM-88 HARM. Additionally, its bomb range encompasses guided, free-falling, incendiary, and cluster variants. In comparison, the MiG-29 primarily carries air-to-air missiles and standard bombs.

This project uses cookies from Mind to deliver its services and to analyze traffic.Learn moreOK, Got it