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US Air Force Secretary assesses the impact of F-16 in the Russia-Ukraine conflict

May 23, 2023

Washington [US], May 23: Ukrainian officials for months have been trying to convince their Western sponsors to supply the F-16, arguing that the plane would have a major impact in the conflict with Russia. Ukrainian Air Force spokesman YuryIgnat announced on May 20 that when Kyiv adds the F-16 to its arsenal, "we will win this war".
Meanwhile, speaking at an event in Washington DC on May 22, US Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said the F-16 "will give the Ukrainians a capacity increase that they don't have right now". but "won't be a dramatic game-changer," according to RT.
According to Kendall, the F-16 (made by the US) will not change the balance of power in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict because effective air defense systems will prevent them from playing a major role in deciding the outcome. fruit. He also said that supplying Ukraine with F-16s would be "regarded by some as an escalation on our part".
On May 20, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko warned that Western countries will face "great risks" if they supply F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, according to TASS news agency.
Mr. Kendall also said that it will take at least a few months to get the F-16 into the hands of Ukraine, but in any case, the decision to supply this type of fighter will help create a shift away from Ukraine's dependence. on Soviet-era aircraft.
Also on May 22, US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said that training Ukrainian pilots to use the F-16 and working with allies to supply Ukraine with this advanced fighter remains "a priority". America" in the coming months, according to The Kyiv Independent .
"[U.S. President Joe Biden] has made it very clear that we will begin training Ukrainian soldiers to fly F-16s and we will work with our allies and partners on the delivery of F-16s. for Ukraine," Mr. Miller emphasized.
Earlier on May 17, Britain and the Netherlands agreed to build a "fighter alliance" for Ukraine. On May 20, the US also announced that it would join the initiative along with Portugal and Denmark.
So far, Ukraine has received 14 Soviet-era MiG-29 fighters from Poland and 13 from Slovakia. However, Ukraine is most interested in the F-16, which has been in service since the 1970s and is operated by more than 20 countries, according to The Kyiv Independent .
Source: ThanhNien Newspaper