F-16s won’t fundamentally change the war’s course in Ukraine, Pentagon says
F-16 fighters (Photo:REUTERS / Lukasz Glowala)
The United States and its allies transferring F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine will not "fundamentally alter the balance" in the war in Ukraine, U.S. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said in an interview with Voice of America on May 22.
At the same time, Kendall is convinced that transferring F-16s to Ukraine is important in the medium term.
He stressed that providing F-16s to Ukraine "creates intermediate capabilities that the Ukrainians currently do not have, but this will not fundamentally alter the situation," since "air power has not yet been a decisive factor" in the war.
"F-16s will help the Ukrainians, but will not fundamentally change the balance," said Kendall.
When asked about the timeline for the transfer of the aircraft, he said that many details need to be clarified before transferring F-16s to Ukraine, and this "will take several months at best."
On May 19, UK PM Rishi Sunak announced that his country, along with the United States, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Denmark, will train Ukrainian pilots on Western aircraft.
During the recent G7 Summit in Japan, U.S. President Joe Biden announced Washington will support a joint international effort to supply Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets.
How many aircraft Kyiv cane expect to receive, or when the transfer will happen, remains unclear.
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