The US Defense Department is seeking to ensure the availability of spare parts to support the F-16 aircraft that Ukraine will receive. This was stated by Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition William LaPlante.
The Netherlands, Denmark, and Norway have announced that they would provide Ukraine with F-16s from their fleet. Although F-16s are American fighters, the United States decided to take on an equally important role in the air coalition.
The US promises to provide spare parts for F-16s
The Pentagon is already involved in training Ukrainian pilots on F-16s. For Ukrainians to successfully operate these F-16s, Ukrainian pilots are trained in the United States and Europe in flight operations and maintenance.
The US assures that once Ukraine receives the F-16s, support will not stop. The Pentagon emphasizes that spare parts will be needed to keep the aircraft running and continue flying.
The United States is ready to do so, LaPlante said, emphasizing the importance of the availability of spare parts to maintain the fighters.
According to LaPlante, the F-16s need the right amount of spare parts. He claimed that F-16s in Ukraine could be decommissioned without spare parts in a few months.
“We will not allow this to happen,” LaPlante said. “And if other countries provide their aircraft, we have to be sure that if they don’t provide the parts, we will find them and provide them.”
Ukraine will receive F-16 fighter jets: in brief
In the summer, the United States officially approved re-exporting F-16 fighters to Ukraine. After that, the Netherlands and Denmark were the first to agree to provide 61 planes to Ukraine. Norway also agreed to provide Ukraine with the aircraft.
The Netherlands says that fighter jets’ delivery to Ukraine will likely begin in early 2024. Ukrainian pilots and engineers are currently undergoing retraining.
The Netherlands has sent 5 combat training F-16s to a training centre in Romania. Ukrainian pilots are starting their F16 training in Romania.
How will F-16 jets protect Ukraine?
Russia is increasingly using guided bombs against Ukrainian border towns. The planes do not fly close to the border and bomb civilians from a safe distance with impunity.
Ukrainian Armed Forces will only have a way to counter such tactics once they receive F-16 universal combat aircraft from the West.
Although they will not be a panacea for all Russian air attacks, they can close many gaps in the defence of Ukrainian skies. Ukraine insists that the main guarantee of safe skies is modern Western aircraft. The F-16 provision is a quick and effective solution.
The range of tasks that F-16 jets will perform in Ukraine is also quite wide. First, it will strengthen Ukraine’s air defence, as the F16 is an ideal hunter for Russian combat drones.
Secondly, the long-range missiles used on F-16s will help the Ukrainian Army to destroy Russian equipment and logistics. The war is far from over, and in early 2024, the renewed Ukrainian Air Force may surprise the Russians, ending their superiority in the air.