29 OCTOBER 2022
The Ukrainian Air Force has selected a group of pilots who can start training on modern foreign fighter jets. Now Western partners must decide on the types of planes they can supply Ukraine with.
Source: Yurii Ihnat, the spokesperson for the Air Force of Ukraine, on the 24-hour live national television newscast on 29 October
Details: Ihnat confirmed that Ukraine’s air defence is being strengthened with foreign armaments: anti-aircraft systems, guns (though not as rapidly as needed). At the same time he noted that the air defence system of a country includes not only anti-aircraft armaments (which shoot from land) but also air cover.
Quote: “Fighter jets are the most expensive thing…They are equipped with a number of missiles able to work at a different range.
Unfortunately, the aviation we have today is Soviet MiGs and Su planes (we got the latest ones in 1991). They are not able to resist the military threats of the occupying state, which is launching attacks on Ukraine using powerful cruise missiles.
We have a burning need of Western-style fighter planes, maybe F15 or F16. This is the urgent issue that needs to be discussed. Ukrainian diplomacy and its military and political administration are working in all areas of activity in order to accelerate the pace of such provision.
Lieutenant General Mykola Oleshchuk, Commander of the Air Forces of Ukraine, has formed a group of dozens of pilots who are ready to start training abroad tomorrow. Our partners only have to decide on the equipment they are ready to supply us with.
These pilots are young, promising, have combat experience and speak English”.
Background: In August, Ukrainska Pravda reported that Ukraine and the USA have not yet decided on the provision of fighter planes.
Ihnat reported that the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has selected the expert group which will work on the rearmament of the Air Force.
The group concluded that the priority is supplying the Air Force of Ukraine with Western multirole combat aircraft that will be able to fulfil a wide range of tasks under current combat conditions.
It was mentioned these could be the America-produced multifunctional fighter planes F-16, F-15 and F-18 with certain modifications, or their European analogues.