Biden confirms plans to transfer F-16 fighters to Ukraine after pilot training finishes

18.08.2023, 16:32
Biden confirms plans to transfer F-16 fighters to Ukraine after pilot training finishes - Photo
Jake Sullivan (Photo: EPA)

The Ukrainian Air Force will receive F-16 fighter jets after pilot training, US President's National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has said, according to The Guardian.

According to him, the F-16s will be transferred to Kyiv following the completion of training by Ukrainian pilots.

He noted that this week US Secretary of State Antony Blinken formalized the procedure to his colleagues in Europe.

"Upon the completion of that training, the United States would be prepared in consultation with Congress to approve third party transfer of F-16 aircraft to Ukraine," Sullivan said.

US President Joe Biden approved training programs for Ukrainian F-16 pilots by allied countries back in May. Since that time, the topic of training has dragged on. Washington is yet to agree to the training of Ukrainian pilots at American air bases.

In mid-summer 2023, the Pentagon said that the current conditions in the war were "not ideal" for using the F-16 in a counteroffensive, because the occupation forces "still have air defense."

F-16s, which will strengthen the air defense/anti-missile defense of Ukraine and will enable more effective work in the occupied territories, will not be available soon - not for the current counteroffensive - and initially not in large numbers .

Ukraine is counting on several dozen aircraft and estimated the need at four squadrons (48 units) of F-16s.

Advisor to the Minister of Defense Yuriy Sak believes that the Russians are afraid that Ukraine will receive the F-16.

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