Will Kyiv help the F-16 fighter, which the West can give it?
Russian military expert Alexei Leonkov said that Kyiv could receive F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters.
He explained that the Fighting Falcon 16 is the most popular military aircraft in the West, and many countries have bought it with honors, which means that the design and engine are American-made. The rest, including weapons, may differ, this is a fourth-generation light multirole fighter manufactured by General Dynamics.
Previously, he participated in many operations conducted by the US Army.
The wingspan is 9.45 meters, the mass of fuel in the internal tanks is 3.16 tons, the maximum speed is 2178 km / h. And it can fly without weapons at a distance of up to 3890 km. It was equipped with a 20mm hex cannon with 511 ammo as well as rocket projectiles.
Its early version, the F-16AM, can match the Ukrainian Su-27, and it is slightly superior to the MiG-29. flight distance of 70-110 km, which may create some problems for the Russian Air Force. This is provided that its crew is competent.
It is noteworthy that the US Congress approved for 2022 assistance to Ukraine in the amount of $100 million for the training of Ukrainian pilots. The training program should start in January or February next year.
Further, the issue of supplying Kyiv with such aircraft as the Gripen Eurofighter, Dassault Rafale, and Mirage Western warships is being considered.
There is another problem that the F-16 will face in Ukraine, namely the Ukrainian airports, which have been destroyed by almost all Russian forces.
It should be noted that aircraft do not fly independently, as they are completely connected to infrastructure, including runways, airports, service stations, warehouses, etc., some of which have been destroyed, and some are still in critical technical condition. . . All of them are suitable only for Soviet-made aircraft. Even airports that have not yet been destroyed are not suitable for serving F-16 fighters.
Therefore, the supply of these fighters will complicate the situation, but will not introduce fundamental changes in the conduct of the special operation.