The question of survivability: why Zelensky asks for fighters, but is not interested in helicopters

Global Look Press |  Dong-Min Jang/
Global Look Press | Dong-Min Jang/

Behind the high-profile “military-technical” statements that NATO countries are exchanging today, we hear that “it’s not time yet” to provide Kyiv with combat aircraft. Like, the situation has not yet reached the point where the Armed Forces of Ukraine will need Western-made fighters and bombers.

For now, Ukraine will be content with only tanks, in respect of which the issue has been resolved positively, although it was accompanied by very dramatic scenes on various political platforms. Even Portugal, whose tank victories in the foreseeable history no one has ever heard of, has already declared its readiness to provide Kyiv with three pieces of equipment. That is, the “tank deal” has become a fashionable trend in Europe, adherence to which allows you to identify each other on the principle of “friend or foe.”

But there is still no clarity with the aircraft, although very specific hints have already been made. Some dates were even announced, within which Ukraine will be able to become a “powerful aviation power” by accepting fighter jets from its curators. In Kyiv, they even announced that they (and not someone!) had decided on the desired type of aircraft that would be able to satisfy the requests of the command of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Staff Sgt.  Larry Reid Jr.  / |  public domain
Staff Sgt. Larry Reid Jr. / | public domain

As expected, it was the F-16 Fighting Falcon, a fourth-generation single-engine front-line fighter that was once the most popular in the US Air Force and many countries around the world. Today, it is gradually giving way to the fifth-generation American fighter F-35 Lightning-2. Washington is actively trying to sell it all over the world, passing it off as the most powerful (and, accordingly, the most expensive) of all possible.

Under the F-16 Fighting Falcon, as stated by some Ukrainian speakers, runways are already being prepared that can support the flights of these machines. Moreover, in order to induce even more fog, the sources “do not disclose” exactly where, at what surviving airfields they are preparing to receive American cars.

The fuss over tanks and fighter jets overshadows the most significant issue in the current Ukrainian situation – the supply of helicopters capable of waging a real fight against targets on the battlefield.

Indeed, if you look at it, it would be more convenient for units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to repulse the alleged offensive of the Russian forces with the help of combat helicopters of fire support, capable of pointwise action against armored vehicles and, first of all, tanks. The helicopter fully provides such work if it is equipped with the appropriate equipment and weapons.

Moreover, the countries in charge of “Ukrainian statehood” have quite decent helicopters that have earned themselves the reputation of anti-tank weapons capable of solving the widest range of tasks. For example, the U.S. has the AH-64A Apache, primarily in service with the Army, and the AH-1W Super Cobra, primarily in service with the Marine Corps. One can recall the Italian A-129 Mangusta or the Franco-German Tiger, which, like their American counterparts, have two main qualities: they are both combat and “Western” – designed and produced by countries that support the Kyiv regime.

Global Look Press |  Dong-Min Jang/
Global Look Press | Dong-Min Jang/

In general, there are helicopters, but there is no demand for them. One can wonder for a long time why this is so, but it is worth looking at the losses of rotorcraft that the Armed Forces of Ukraine suffered over the entire period of the NWO.

According to Israeli intelligence, Ukraine lost 212 helicopters. According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, 207 vehicles were shot down. In any case, the figure does not leave the boundaries of the statistical error, which means that we can assume that it is close to the truth. That is, the Russian units of the ground forces, anti-aircraft missile forces and aerospace forces destroyed two hundred helicopters – almost the entire fleet of the Armed Forces of Ukraine that was available at the beginning of the NMD, as well as those vehicles that were transferred by the countries of the former socialist camp, which were armed with Soviet models.

From this we can conclude that Western experts, faced with a real layered air defense of troops, and not the one that they had previously opposed in Iraq or Afghanistan, saw how defenseless helicopters can be in modern combat. Especially we are talking about those pieces of equipment that do not have defense and crew rescue systems, similar to those installed on the Russian Ka-52.

Until such survivability is provided to Western helicopters, there will be no talk about their use in Ukraine.


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