Ukraine: We will get either F-16 or Gripen, talks are underway

KYIV, UKRAINE — Ukraine is discussing with its partners whether the Ukrainian Air Force will receive aircraft or not. The Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Mr. Oleksiy Reznikov, stated that negotiations are underway as to which aircraft platform will be preferred.

Ukraine: We will get either F-16 or Gripen, talks are underway
Photo credit: PixaBay

At a joint press conference with Polish Defense Minister Mr. Mariusz Blaszak, Mr. Reznikov said that negotiations are currently underway with Western partners aimed at defining a platform for the transfer of tactical aviation to Ukraine. “What it will be – F-16 or Gripen – is a matter of discussions with NATO partners,” Reznikov said.

The minister also noted that the “tank initiative” has already grown into a “tank coalition”, thanks to which Ukraine will soon receive NATO-standard tanks – Leopard, Abrams, Challenger, and the French AMX-10, and Poland is one of the drivers of this process.

“During the video conference, we discussed with our partners the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the conditions for training our soldiers, and other important issues,” Mr. Reznikov said. He also said that the next meeting of the “tank coalition” will be held in mid-February in Brussels.

President Zelensky asks Ramstein partners in February to coordinate the delivery of long-range missiles and aircraft to Ukraine. According to Politico, the United States may allow its allies to transfer F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.

Ukraine: We will get either F-16 or Gripen, talks are underway
Photo credit: PixaBay

So far, the Netherlands and Poland have expressed a desire to provide their F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine if Washington gives the “green light” for re-exports. France is also ready to provide its Rafale, but after analyzing three key factors that are at the domestic level of the country.

The Ukrainian Air Force primarily flies MiG-29s and Su-27s. It is said that they have received deliveries of Su-25, but the information cannot be definitively confirmed due to Washington’s silence on the matter. Most notably, the West does not reveal who the alleged supplier is. Bulgaria was one of the names mentioned, but Bulgaria’s Ministry of Defense denied that it had exported Su-25s in parts via a third country to Ukraine.

If Ukraine is allowed to receive Western fighter jets, the process will take time, at least eight months, experts say. The training of Ukrainian pilots on Western aviation systems is the key point that could delay possible deliveries.

Ukrainian pilots 'already fly' the A-10, but on a simulator
Video screenshot

The first signals about a possible delivery of combat aircraft to Ukraine arrived in the second half of last year. Ukrainian pilots then began training on a simulator for the aviation platform A-10 – attack aircraft.

In the middle of this month, Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Col. Yury Ignat reinforced claims of a possible delivery, saying the issue had always been part of negotiations between Ukraine and partners. “Our military pilots traveled to the United States, funds were allocated for the training of our pilots … That is, the aviation topic has never left the agenda. The type of aircraft that is likely to be provided to Ukraine, and the corresponding terms for the training of personnel have already been determined,” Colonel Ignat said in January.

Later that month came news that Lockheed Martin was poised to double production of F-16 fighter jets at its Greenville, South Carolina plant. In this way, the American conglomerate notified F-16 operators around the world that it has a reserve to fill any possible shortfalls if they decide to supply F-16s to Ukraine.


Follow us everywhere and at any time. has responsive design and you can open the page from any computer, mobile devices or web browsers. For more up-to-date news, follow our Google NewsYouTubeRedditLinkedInTwitter and Facebook pages. Subscribe to our Newsletter and read our stories in News360App in AppStore or GooglePlay or in FeedlyApp in AppStore or GooglePlay. Our standards: Manifesto & ethical princliples.