ua en ru

Ukrainian Air Force reveals whether F-16s can operate with older Ukrainian aircraft

Ukrainian Air Force reveals whether F-16s can operate with older Ukrainian aircraft Фото: F-16 (Getty Images)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

F-16 fighters will be able to perform maneuvers in combination with older Ukrainian aircraft, such as Su-27 and MiG-29. Similar exercises have already been conducted, according to Illia Yevlash, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian Air Force.

"They (F-16s and Ukrainian aircraft, such as Su-27 and MiG-29 - ed.) will be able to. There have been exercises before, and in the 2000s, when F-16s flew to Ukraine and performed strong maneuvers together with Su-27s and MiG-29s during international exercises, and it was quite successful and quite effective. Therefore, there will be no problems with such use," he assures.

Of course, he says, he would like to rearm the entire Ukrainian air fleet as soon as possible.

"It would be easier to maintain and more efficient to use. But for now, we are going to work directly with what we have. For example, we are using Soviet air defense systems quite effectively, along with the latest equipment and more," the spokesperson notes.

F-16 for Ukraine

A special coalition was initially created to provide F-16 fighters to Ukraine, led by the Netherlands and Denmark. The choice of these countries was not accidental - they have special flight simulators.

In February, Foreign Policy reported that Ukraine would be able to receive the first F-16 fighter jets probably in June. More recently, Yevlash mentioned a closer date - after Easter. Later, the Ukrainian Air Force clarified that it could not yet name the exact date of delivery of the aircraft to Ukraine, it would be announced after the fighters were already in the country.

Read more about how and for what purposes Ukraine will be able to use the F-16 in US General Ben Hodges' interview with RBC-Ukraine.