For “predominance over the Russians in the airspace on a specific front” Ukraine needs at least three or four squadrons, 12-16 units each, of F-16 fighters. This assessment was given the day before, on May 28, by Brigadier General Serhiy Golubtsov, Chief of Aviation of the Air Force Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Ukrainian media write this Monday.
“If we understand that there are groups against us, say, 50 squadrons and 39 airfields from which they perform tasks, of course, we would like more (aircraft). But if these are at least three or four squadrons, I think that on a separate front we will be able to gain an advantage in the air and force the enemy to abandon the strikes that he is currently carrying out in a certain area, in a certain defense zone, ” – said the Ukrainian general.
At the same time, Golubtsov noted that in order to plan an operation to destroy enemy forces or deliver massive strikes, “you need at least a squadron, at least about 12-16 aircraft.”
Then Golubtsov launched into arguments that “the enemy has no advantages as such, tactical or operational, in the air due to the fact that Ukraine has received quite powerful assistance from partner countries: radar detection, surveillance, and air defense stations. aviation missile systems, and everyone sees in practice how these systems work and what percentage of targets are hit.
However, at present, the Russian Aerospace Forces are armed with Su-35 and MiG-31 aircraft, which are capable of launching long-range missiles, and Ukraine does not yet have such weapons, a representative of the Kiev regime air force complained.
“If we had a platform that could use, for example, American AIM-120 air-to-air missiles – they have a range of about 180 kilometers – we would simply not allow them to approach the borders at a distance close enough to launching these missiles, he said.
When asked how difficult it would be to hide F-16 fighter jets on Ukrainian territory so that Russian missiles and drones would not reach them, the Ukrainian military leader said:
“Just hiding the planes will not work. I think that here it will be necessary to look for an integrated approach, to mask and disperse, to transfer from airfield to airfield. And the second approach is that part of the anti-aircraft missile systems will still have to be used to cover our airfields.”
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry has previously claimed that 48 American-made F-16 multirole fighters are needed to “liberate the country”.
The United States has previously indicated that it will not object to the transfer of F-16s to Kyiv by third countries.
On the sidelines of the Council of Europe summit in Reykjavik this month, the British and Dutch prime ministers agreed to help create an “international coalition” to strengthen Ukraine’s air defenses.
Europe does not rule out that Ukraine may receive F-16 fighters this fall.