Ukraine needs air defense, armored vehicles and missiles, not planes – Austin

29 March, 11:41 AM
Lloyd Austin (Photo:REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy)

Lloyd Austin (Photo:REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy)

Pentagon head, Lloyd Austin, named the main types of weapons that Ukraine’s Armed Forces need to fight against Russian aggression.

“Now the main need of Ukrainians is anti-aircraft defense. This is a critical necessity on the battlefield. They also need long-range weapons and armored vehicles. And we provide them with a significant package of such opportunities. We also train them and ensure the provision of the weapons provided,” Austin said.

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He noted that in the future the Ukrainian army may receive modern aircraft, but now it is not an urgent necessity.

“Regarding the F16 fighters, if such a decision is made, it will take approximately 18 months to provide these capabilities. However, this will not help the Ukrainians at this stage of the war. Can the Ukrainians get fighters in the future? We all believe so. Potentially, these could be either F-16s or other fourth-generation aircraft. So we will continue to work with our partners to ensure that Ukraine has exactly what it needs,” said the head of the Pentagon.

U.S. President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz have earlier stated that they would not hand over planes to Ukraine.

A positive decision on the transfer of aviation to Ukraine should happen in the next month or two, said Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov.

Ukrainian pilots should be able to learn to fly the F-16s in less than six months, said Ukrainian Air Force commander, General Serhiy, Holubtsov, on March 20.

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