When choosing a new fighter, or rather – a multi-purpose tactical aircraft, it is necessary to use not outdated methods of comparison, but a comprehensive approach.
This was emphasized by the former head of Antonov and the chairman of the board of the British-Ukrainian company Air combat evolution Oleksandr Los in an interview with Defense Express. He also named the best candidate to replace the Soviet Su-27 and MiG-29 – which are the main domestic air force and explained why the way to modernize these aircraft – is hopeless.
“The current park in the Air Force of Ukraine is Soviet equipment. It needs to be serviced, searched for or produced spare parts, but this in no way creates new opportunities and capabilities.
The projected resource of tactical aircraft currently in service is 2030. Someone is trying to fantasize about 2035 and beyond, but it will already be a museum piece. The trouble is that even if the plane has a small raid, but the calendar resource – is already exhausted, “- said Alexander Los.
It should be noted that the youngest fighter of the Air Force of Ukraine is 30 years old. That is, as of 2035, he will be 44 years old, which is a completely critical age for fighter aircraft. And the bulk of Su-27 and MiG-29 aircraft began to be supplied to the regiments of the Soviet army, which were located in Ukraine, in 1983-1984.
“Ukraine was one of the first to receive the then newest Soviet fighters to protect the western border of the USSR. said the former head of the state enterprise “Antonov”.
Moreover, Ukrainian airspace is inspected by Russian radars, which are located not only around the northeastern borders, but also in the occupied Crimea and Belarus.
“The concept of upgrading the Air Force of Ukraine should be considered exclusively in the context of a collective regional air defense security system. This is of systemic importance, because we must understand that the same F-35 will not come to Ukraine. Even when we become members of NATO. Because we are at the border from the Russian Federation, a continuous radar field of the Russian army, which is already able to capture inconspicuous objects.
In this situation, the focus should not be on fifth-generation fighters, but on the aircraft, which should be integrated into the collective air force. That is, to act even through the airspace of the union country.
In my opinion, this should be the F-15EX, which is a real “air shop” – because it can accommodate 24 units of heavy weapons. And it acts as an element that ensures the destruction of the enemy and acts together with the F-35, which plays the role of a passive “listener” and provides targeting. That is, the F-15EX discharges its “store” from a great distance on targets detected by other aircraft.
Ukraine alone cannot accomplish this task. However, together with Poland and the Baltic States, the creation of a unified air defense system is a very real task, “Oleksandr Los stressed.
If this path is chosen, then the standard “direct comparison” of aircraft, ie to take as criteria such parameters as speed, range, traction and even the cost of flight time – the wrong way. And the main parameter should be the most effective role in a single air defense system of countries that are under threat of invasion by Russia.
And in this situation, any attempt to modernize the fleet of Soviet fighters is futile, because these aircraft have their finite resource, added the chairman of the board of Air combat evolution.
Interestingly, the implementation of the rearmament of the Air Force of Ukraine could well go by localizing the production of American aircraft. For example, representatives of Boeing, Antonov, Ukroboronprom and the Ministry of Defense in the spring of 2019 actively discussed the possibility of assembling a TX training aircraft.
Successful implementation of this project further allowed to count on participation in production of F-15EX from Boeing. However, this plan failed due to sabotage on the Ukrainian side .
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