Ukraine wants F-16 or F-15, A-10 Thunderbolt II is not an option
KYIV ($1=36.79 Ukrainian Hryvnias) — The Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine needs, first of all, a multifunctional combat aircraft capable of using weapons against both air and ground targets.
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Thus, the spokesman of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Yuriy Ignat, in a comment for Ukrainian Truths, appreciated the idea of enthusiasts regarding the possible replenishment of the fleet of tactical aviation with American attack aircraft A-10 Thunderbolt II.
“In particular, these are American F-16, F-15, or F-18 multi-role fighters with certain modifications or their European counterparts,” said the representative of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The topic of the possible transfer of A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft to Ukraine appeared in the media space after the Time publication.
American journalists told about the initiative to train Ukrainian pilots on these machines with the help of simulators and consultations with retired American pilots. The publication describes a “secret center” where several Ukrainian pilots are already undergoing preliminary training.
At the same time, the Air Force has not confirmed that its pilots are currently undergoing appropriate training. The press service of the Air Force explained that their specialists have tested the equipment, but for the moment there is no talk of planned pilot training.
The Air Force emphasized that in the conditions of the current war, the work of attack aircraft is complicated by the presence of a large number of anti-aircraft defenses against the enemy.
It is worth noting that at the moment both the armed forces and the enemy have the same type of Soviet attack aircraft – the Su-25. But both countries, due to the threat of losing aircraft, in most cases use unguided cruise missiles. That is, from a long distance and without direct visibility of the target being hit.
In such conditions, one of the main advantages of the A-10 Thunderbolt II – the seven-barreled 30 mm gun GAU-8 Avenger – does not have favorable conditions for effective use. A stormtrooper can work with it for the purpose of diving, that is, entering the air defense zone. The successful use of pigs, for example, in Iraq’s Desert Storm campaign took place under conditions of total Allied air supremacy – suppressing enemy air defense and fighter threats.
The Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is interested in receiving a single multifunctional platform capable of using modern high-precision air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons. Several Western aircraft can claim this role.
We recall that on July 15, the US Congress adopted the draft budget of the Pentagon, in which it provided 100 million dollars for the training of Ukrainian pilots of F-16 and F-15 aircraft. US senators have appealed to the US Department of Defense to include F-16 and F-15 aircraft in future military aid packages to Ukraine. The Pentagon announced that they are currently conducting studies on the prospect of transferring multi-purpose aircraft to Ukraine.
Ukrainian pilots are lobbying for the prospect of transferring advanced aircraft and anti-aircraft missile systems to Ukraine. In the summer of 2022, a delegation of the Air Force of the Armed Forces visited Washington, where they held several meetings in the interest of future rearmament. Sean Penn is also an active participant in the advocacy campaign regarding the transfer of F-16s to Ukraine.
According to their estimates of Ukrainian pilots, mastering an F-16 type aircraft at an appropriate level under the accelerated program could take up to six months.
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