Ukraine call for fighter jets as next priority after securing tanks | World
, 2023-01-28 00:01:00,
Ukraine has said it is confident of securing western combat jets as it seeks to galvanise Nato military support after the breakthrough this week on the delivery of modern battle tanks.
Kyiv has put the F-16 at the top of its wish list, although officials have also pointed to the significantly more advanced F-35 as well as the Eurofighter, the Tornado, the French-made Rafale and the Swedish Gripen fighter.
The F-16, developed in the 1970s, was once the fighter jet of choice for many air forces but is gradually being retired from service, meaning there is in theory a deep reservoir of aircraft and spare parts on which Ukraine could draw.
Ukraine’s hopes of obtaining the F-16 or other western jets depend heavily on the United States.
JOHN WHITE PHOTOS/GETTY IMAGES
Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer, has said it is already stepping up production of newer F-16 models in anticipation of a wave of demand from countries giving older F-16s to Ukraine and seeking a swift replacement.
Yuriy Sak, an adviser to the Ukrainian defence minister, has given numerous interviews urging his country’s western backers not to delay for as long as they did over the Leopard 2 and M1 Abrams battle tanks, which were finally pledged on Wednesday. “We will get F-16s,” Sak told CNBC. “At the moment more than 50 countries around the world have this platform. I don’t see a reason, or any rational explanation, why Ukraine shouldn’t be getting F-16s or other fourth-generation jet fighters.”
To read the original article from news.google.com, Click here
Private Internet Access gives you unparalleled access to thousands of next-gen servers in over 83 countries and each US state. Your VPN experience will always be fast, smooth, and reliable.