Western countries began to discuss the supply of not only F-16 aircraft, but also F-18s to Ukraine. This will increase the number of countries that will be able to provide Ukraine with Western aviation.
Politico writes about it.
For the first time, this issue was raised in closed meetings during the "Shangri-La Dialogue" in Singapore. But this plan is still far from being implemented.
Dozens of F-18s could be available for sale by the end of this decade as they are gradually replaced by more modern F-35s. In addition, it will increase the number of countries that can transfer aircraft to Ukraine.
For example, Australia, Canada, Switzerland, Spain and Finland have F-18s. Some of these countries already have F-35 contracts.
The F-16 and F-18 are almost identical aircraft, but they have some differences. The F-18 is faster and has two engines, and its landing gear is stronger. In contrast, the F-16 has a longer range and can stay in the sky longer without refueling. As for the armament, it is almost the same on both planes — a number of different missiles can be mounted on them.
- On May 23, the Pentagon informed that the transfer of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine will begin in at least a few months. And this is based on an optimistic scenario. However, this is quite a short period of time, as it usually takes more than two years to train a new American pilot to operate such an aircraft.
- F-16 will be delivered to Ukraine in units, not individually. At the initial stage, several dozen of these aircraft may be transferred. Earlier, the adviser to the Ukrainian Minister of Defense Yuriy Sak stated that Ukraine wants to receive 40 to 50 F-16 fighters to form three or four squadrons.
- German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said on June 5 that the German government may reconsider its position on the possible supply of modern Western fighter jets to Ukraine.