Ukraine has received fighter jets, US doesn’t disclose their origin

WASHINGTON — The Ukrainian Air Force already has a larger set of fighters to deal with the Russian invasion. US Defense Department spokesman John Kirby revealed that Ukrainian forces “have more fixed-wing fighters now than they did two weeks ago,” learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing InfoDefensa.

Ukraine has received fighter jets, US doesn't disclose their origin
Pfoto credit: NYT

Kirby avoids clarifying the origin of the additional devices but admits that this is due to foreign aid. The fact that the country’s fleet has increased, he said, “is not a coincidence, because other nations that have experience with this type of aircraft have been able to help them launch more aircraft.”

With these words, the Pentagon spokesman seems to be implying that these are devices that would already be available to Kyiv and that they have already received certain spare parts and assistance that allow them to be returned to the air. However, during a press conference this week, Kirby added, after warning that he did not want to “go into what other nations offer that Ukrainians had been given additional platforms and parts to be able to increase the size of their fleet.”

He later explained that he would not give more details on the subject: “I think I would leave it at that,” he added. But when asked what he meant by “platform”, Kirby admitted that “the platform is an airplane in this case. In this way, they received additional aircraft and aircraft parts to help them launch more aircraft. Yes”.

Ukraine has received fighter jets, US doesn't disclose their origin
Photo credit: ABC News

In the first weeks of the war, which began on February 24, there was an insistence on the possibility of sending Soviet-made fighter jets to Ukraine, in particular the MiG-29 [with which the country’s pilots are more familiar] than the inventory. from different countries. The European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, was the first to point out in late February the possibility of sending platforms of this type from the Member States that “have this type of aircraft” in response to the request of Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

Single diplomatic movements

Subsequently, the United States pressured some NATO partners who have these devices to send them to Ukraine, as is the case with Poland, Slovakia, and Bulgaria. In the days that followed, there were some unique diplomatic movements that Kirby’s words now seemed to make sense of. In the end, Poland agreed to deliver its planes, but through the United States. The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs itself announced in an official note on March 8 that it would send all its MiG-29 fighters to the Pentagon base in Rammstein, Germany, which it left in the hands of Washington and with the participation of Berlin, the last shipment to Ukraine.

The Americans did not like the measure, nor did the Germans, who rejected it. “The prospect of military planes [provided by Poland] to the US government leaving the US-NATO base in Germany to fly into the airspace over Ukraine, disputed by Russia, raises serious concerns for the entire alliance,” John Kirby said.

Without attracting attention

The Pentagon spokesman is now indicating that planes have finally arrived in Ukraine, albeit without confirming suspicions that the communications mess may be aimed at relieving the parties concerned of responsibility so as not to put them in the spotlight. Moscow. Russia’s Defense Ministry has gone so far as to warn that the use of Ukrainian forces at airports in other countries to combat their forces “can be considered the participation of these countries in the armed conflict.” Fears of the conflict escalating to other countries in the region, which would force NATO to intervene if it were one of its partners, are behind the concerns expressed in the sending of fighter jets.

Ukraine-has-received-fighter-jets,-US-doesn't-disclose-their-origin-1
Photo credit: Al Jazeera

However, the statements of the Pentagon spokesman suggest that the formula was found to make the plane arrive without attracting too much attention. In any case, experts warn of the difficulties in the proper use of this material in the theater, where Russia has the upper hand in the air and where Ukraine has a shortage of combat-ready pilots.

Slovakia is thinking about that

On the other hand, it has become clear these days that Slovakia is considering donating MiG-29 fighters to Ukraine. Its fleet consists of nine single-seater aircraft plus two other two-seater aircraft designed for training, although it is estimated that only five of the former and one of the latter are currently in use, Oryxpioenkop reported.

According to images compiled by this website, run by Dutch experts, Ukraine has lost at least four MiG-29s, three Su-27s, five Su-25s, three Su-24s, and another unidentified fighter jet since the invasion. . Experts explain that the losses should be greater, as this list includes only devices from which photographic or video evidence was obtained, and it is not easy for Ukrainians to distribute many images of their own losses.

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