Group of US lawmakers urge Biden to send F-16s to Ukraine

17 February, 11:22 PM
F-16 (Photo:REUTERS/Ints Kalnins)

F-16 (Photo:REUTERS/Ints Kalnins)

A bipartisan group of U.S. legislators is pressuring U.S. President Joe Biden to provide F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine to help it resist the Russian invasion, Politico reported on Feb. 17.

Five members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to Biden, saying that the advanced aircraft that Kyiv is asking for “could prove decisive for control of Ukrainian airspace this year.” They insist that providing aircraft to Ukraine is necessary and will give Ukraine's defenders more options than ground artillery.

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“F-16s or similar fourth generation fighter aircraft would provide Ukraine with a highly mobile platform from which to target Russian air-to-air missiles and drones, to protect Ukrainian ground forces as they engage Russian troops, as well as to engage Russian fighters for contested air superiority,” the letter reads.

They call for a swift decision on the matter, given the time it would take to train Ukrainian pilots. The lawmakers also note that many Ukrainian pilots have already been training with the U.S. military before the war, and sending aircraft “represents a sound strategic investment in bolstering Kiev’s military capability and bringing this conflict to a just conclusion.”

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