Not the F-16 alone: an aviator told how to close the sky over Ukraine

F-16 fighters. Photo:

The appearance of American F-16 fighters in the arsenal of the Ukrainian army will be a serious increase in defense capability, but will not be able to completely cover the sky. The President of the Ukrainian Aviation Association of Pilots and Aircraft Owners “AOPA Ukraine”, Ukrainian aviator and volunteer Gennady Khazan, said this on the FREEDOM TV channel.

“As a rule, F-16 aircraft operate in the aviation complex together with AWACS (early-range radar detection – ed.) systems. The plane itself, having its own locator, has its own truncated capabilities. F-16 type aircraft and other systems are fully operational at the moment when a long-range radar reconnaissance aircraft is present in the air. It is he who indicates to the fighter targets at distances of 400-600 km, to which the aircraft then moves to destroy them. Therefore, it is extremely important for Ukraine, along with F-16 fighters, to also receive AWACS systems from its allies,” Khazan noted.

Therefore, the Ukrainian leadership should turn to its allies for help in providing such a serious element of the aviation platform as long-range radar reconnaissance aircraft, the aviation expert added.

He also debunked the myth that F-16 aircraft will be able to completely cover the Ukrainian skies.

“It is impossible to close the sky 100% for a number of technical and other reasons, including financial ones. But closing it by 97-98% is possible. But this requires not only F-16 aircraft, but also a large number of air defense systems (air defense – ed.). At the same time, they must be echeloned. And different ranges: small, medium and large,” the aviator said.

According to him, Ukraine is currently one of the few countries that is developing a model of a multi-echelon air defense system.

“For example, Russia has experience in launching a large number of UAVs. Ukraine, on the contrary, has a practice of intercepting a large number of drones. And this suggests that it is seriously developing its own air defense systems. The only thing is that sometimes we lack some tools. But we have qualified officers who can and have learned to do this. And, by the way, the allies are very much interested in adopting such experience,” concluded Gennady Khazan.

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Let us recall that earlier military analyst Olexiy Getman expressed the opinion that even 50 F-16 fighters will not allow Ukraine to completely close all airspace, but will solve the issue of protecting the sky in particularly hot areas.