Ukraine wants up to 50 F-16s from Western partners – def min adviser
An F-16 fighter jet. Photo via Depositphotos

Ukraine aims to get 40 to 50 F-16 modern fighter jets as it has "nothing to stop" Russian aircraft with guided glide bombs, an adviser to Ukraine’s defence minister told Politico.

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According to Yuriy Sak, Ukraine wants between 40 to 50 F-16s in total, forming "three or four squadrons" to defend its skies from Russian bombardments.

Kyiv is telling Western leaders the need for modern jets has become more acute since the Russian Air Force began widespread use of guided glide bombs in March, reaching targets at greater distances, Mr Sak explains.

Ukraine currently has "nothing to stop" the Russian aircraft carrying them, he added.

"Everybody understands that the topic is ripe for discussion. Nobody said that it’s impossible," Oleksii Reznikov’s adviser believes.

"If you compared it with three months ago, when we were still struggling to get tanks, today everybody is talking about the jet coalition – that’s a very promising sign. We understand that our air defence will not be complete without fighter jets, F-16s."

Ukraine has long been asking for modern fighter jets, claiming that its current Soviet-era aircraft are not capable of countering offensives of Russian forces and are too old to be combat-effective.

While such deliberations are known to be taking place, no country has so far committed to delivering Ukraine modern aircraft.

Kyiv, meanwhile, is betting on a ‘jet coalition’ to be created similarly to the ‘tank coalition’, which expedited the delivery of critically needed armoured capabilities.