The F-16 Fighting Falcon, a U.S. multirole fighter aircraft, is seen as a priority, Ihnat said. France’s Rafale and Sweden’s Gripen are also under consideration.
But even once negotiations for the delivery of these jets will be completed, Ukraine will not be able to use them on the battlefield for months, as training of pilots and technicians will take at least half a year, Ihnat warned.
U.S. political news outlet Politico reported on Jan. 26 that European countries had been discussing the supply of fighter jets to Ukraine, though a number NATO members raised concerns about perceived “escalation” on Russia’s side.
U.S. national security advisor Jon Finer stated that Washington would be discussing this idea “very carefully”. Meanwhile, commenting on the F-16s for Ukraine, Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said that the U.S. “is going to continue to provide Ukraine with what it needs in the short term and the long term.”
France to transfer Rafale fighter jets
France is considering proposing an alternative to Soviet-era Mikoyan MiG-29 combat aircraft for the Ukrainian Air Force’s future fighter jet, opex360.com reported this week.
French military experts also quoted the source saying that French President Emmanuel Macron may propose to the defense minister of Ukraine to renew the local fleet of fighter jets.
According to sources from Intelligence Online, the possible transfer of Rafale fighters to Ukraine is a top priority in the discussion during the upcoming visit.
It is reported that France will offer to deliver used and new Rafale fighter aircraft built by Dassault Aviation for the Ukrainian Air Force for a replacement for the country’s aging MiG-29 fleet.
France has previously sold Rafales to Egypt, Qatar, India and Greece for multi-billion euro contracts.
Rafale is a twin-jet combat aircraft manufactured by Dassault Aviation and is capable of carrying out a wide range of short and long-range missions.
Equipped with a wide range of weapons, the Rafale is intended to perform air supremacy, interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, ground support, in-depth strike, anti-ship strike and nuclear deterrence missions.
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