Pentagon officials want to send F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine to fight Putin, after Volodymyr Zelensky’s military secured tanks from Germany and the United States.
Zelensky is seeking fourth-generation fighter jets that can reach speeds of more than 1,200 mph, adding nearly $30 billion in military and security assistance since the February 24 invasion of Russia.
Contentious discussion over whether to send the planes to Ukraine has been ongoing as the Biden administration, which has so far rejected Kyiv’s requests, must approve the transfers.
Deputy National Security Adviser Jonathan J. Finer stated that while there is no set decision, the possibility is not out of the question, but the higher-ups are said to be interested.
“We have not ruled out or included any specific system,” Finer said, according to The Telegraph. Any such donation of F-16s would further infuriate Vladimir Putin and likely further inflame the badly damaged relationship between Russia and the West.
Fourth-generation fighter jets (above) can reach speeds of over 1,200 mph. The planes would add to nearly $30 billion in military and security assistance since Russia’s invasion on February 24.
A senior US defense official added: “I don’t think we’re going to oppose it.”
Mykhailo Podolyak, Zelensky’s adviser, said Saturday that Ukrainian officials are focused on “fast-track” discussions about military weapons, such as warplanes.
‘We must show the real picture of this war… [and how] this will reduce threats to the security of the European continent,’ Podolyak said of the Western allies, according to the news outlet.
The Biden administration must approve the transfer of fighter jets
Zelensky is preparing for the United States to grant another of his requests as experienced pilots have already been identified to fly the fighter jets, Politico reported.
The F-16 fighter will add to the defense of Kyiv, as the aircraft can fly more than 500 miles and locate targets in all weather conditions, as well as detect low-flying aircraft on radar.
The United States has provided military support to Ukraine by deploying devastating missile systems, thousands of vehicles, and more than 100 million pieces of ammunition.
Before the invasion, even the idea of providing lethal aid to Ukraine was highly controversial, but Western supplies have shattered taboo after taboo ever since.
The Ukrainian Air Force has its own fleet of old Soviet-era fighter jets that rolled off the assembly line before Kyiv declared independence more than 31 years ago. The fighter jets are used for interception missions and to attack Russian positions.
Ukrainian leaders believe that Western military equipment will strike a blow in Putin’s invasion that has been underway since last February.
Last week, Ukraine finally convinced Western leaders to get rid of dozens of sophisticated tanks that they believe will pack a big punch in Putin’s invasion.
The Biden administration is sending a full battalion of 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, following a complicated diplomatic dance in which Germany announced its own decision to send 14 tanks to kyiv, with more on the way.
The United States is testing 31 tanks at a total cost of $400 million. Officials are also providing 500 armored vehicles as part of the package.
President Joe Biden He called the M1 Abrams tanks “the most capable tanks in the world” and said they would “enhance Ukraine’s ability to defend its territory to achieve its strategic objectives.”
He added that the Ukrainian army would use the armor to “liberate their land.”
The Biden administration is sending M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine. The United States approved 500 armored vehicles.
The United States has offered 16 high-mobility artillery rocket systems to Ukraine at a cost of $4 million per unit, $110,000 per missile. The truck-mounted launchers, developed by Lockheed Martin, can fire six guided missiles at a range of up to 50 miles, or more, depending on the ammunition used.
High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) have also been deployed in Ukraine at a cost of around $5 million per unit. HIMARS is recognized as one of the most advanced rocket artillery systems in the world.
It can fire six guided missiles in rapid succession. Ukraine has already used the system against Russian forces to devastating effect, targeting both soldiers and infrastructure. An attack on New Year’s Day killed at least 63 Russian soldiers.
The United States has also supplied Patriot missiles costing $10 million per launcher and $4 million per missile, howitzers costing $570,000 each, and a fleet of Mi-17 helicopters costing $17 million. dollars per unit.
The truck-mounted HIMARS launchers fire GPS-guided missiles capable of hitting targets up to 50 miles away, a distance that puts them out of range of most Russian artillery systems.
The Patriot is a surface-to-air guided missile system that was first deployed in the 1980s and can target aircraft, cruise missiles, and short-range ballistic missiles.
The British-made M777 is an ultralight howitzer first used in the 2001 Afghanistan conflict.
The United States initially purchased a fleet of Mi-17 helicopters, a Russian-developed Soviet-designed military aircraft, for Ukraine for the Afghan military in the early 2010s.