F-16 Supply to Ukraine

21 Ağustos 2023
Okuyucu

Let’s examine the issue of giving F-16 fighters to Ukraine. First, let’s ask if this is a problem or a solution. In my opinion, this main weapon system procurement program is just the beginning! From now on, the supply of weapons systems to Ukraine will diversify, the war will prolong, the target categories to be shot and the airspace will expand. How Does?

Zelensky wanted a plane, the US found the formula, the first batch of F-16s is available, and the delivery time is approaching.

F-16s are delivered to Ukraine from the Netherlands and Denmark. Yesterday Zelensky gave images from the F-16 cockpit. Frankly, I’m also wondering what the results will be. I think it will be the first experience of this size and speed in the history of world warfare. Weaving the main weapon systems is not such an easy project! Logistics and infrastructure are being prepared for the Ukrainian F-16s, pilot training is given, and the planes are being picked up from somewhere. If things go well in this important defense project, the USA will continue to supply aircraft to Ukraine through other channels. So this will be a start.

How will the operation be carried out with F-16s in the conditions of Ukraine at war? There are so many issues waiting to be solved, such as the defense of air bases, the warning system, intelligence, reaction, dispersal areas, factory level maintenance, continuous ammunition supply!.. Now, it seems that these have been solved on paper by experts until now, and implementation will be done. Many existing ones will of course be supplemented by NATO systems.

Will there be regional air defense with F-16s? Will we see air combat? My guess is ground attack missions fly. Attacks, including precision ammunition, are carried out on critical targets. But there is also this, for example, until now Ukraine has carried out asymmetric counterattacks (using drones) around the Black Sea and occupied points, now the Ukrainian Air Force will be able to carry out symmetrical attacks (using the capacity of F-16s). For example, there are attacks on the Sevastopol naval base, the ships there, various types of ammunition and missile depots. Military targets in the whole of the Black Sea region, the entire Crimea, transportation lines such as the Kerch Bridge, the Novorosisk Port and the Army Operations Center in Rostov will be the main targets.

I think that examining this F-16 issue, based on the success of Ukraine’s counterattack launched in the spring, reflects a limited view.

If the threat and the effectiveness of the operation will change so much, will there not be any measures that Russia can take? Will air defense be made only with low, medium and high altitude systems from the ground? Air Supremacy cannot be achieved without a counterattack! For this reason, it is necessary for the Russians to hit all the points where the F-16s and the operational direction are fed.

So what is the sustainability of this operation opening issue? This problem area is for both Ukraine and Russia. But there’s also the big brother in the back, the USA to be reckoned with!

For the answer, shall we look in a direction that has not been brought to mind until now? We have described this war for the USA; To wear out Russia and consume as much of its resources as possible. Since February 2022, the system used by Russia for its surface troops and some human resources have been consumed. Remember what happened. Now what might the US want to do at this stage? The attrition of Russia, especially with a part of its air power, and a significant part of its naval power in the Black Sea. What will this be? This F-16 package to Ukraine will not be enough, it will only be the beginning.

The supply and operational support of the F-16s will be from Eastern Europe. This region becomes critical for counterattacks. Border areas between Belarus and Poland in Eastern Europe will be more critical. Remaining in their own area, NATO aircraft will patrol the area.

I need to remind you again and again that the Black Sea is getting more and more critical. The F-16 will be given to Ukraine and the target area to be selected will be mostly in locations with an exit to the Black Sea. NATO intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance (ISR) aircraft (including done) will fly in this region. This will translate into NATO’s operational support for the F-16s. The Russians will want to take precautions accordingly. I remind you, what will happen if there is a Russian engagement against NATO planes in the Black Sea?

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