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The Air Force told how many F-16s Ukraine needs to gain an advantage

May 28, 2023

To gain air superiority over the enemy in a particular direction, Ukraine needs at least 3-4 squadrons of F-16s of 12-16 units each.


Source: Brigadier General Serhiy Holubtsov, Chief of Aviation of the Air Force Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, in an interview with the Radio Liberty project Donbas Realities

"If we understand that we are facing a group of, let's say, 50 squadrons and 39 airfields from which they perform tasks, of course, we would like more. But if it's at least 3-4 squadrons, I think that in a particular direction, we will be able to gain air superiority and force the enemy to abandon the strikes they are currently conducting in a certain area, in a certain defense line."

Golubtsov noted that "in order to plan an operation to destroy or strike... we should talk about at least a squadron, at least 12-16 aircraft."

At the same time, the brigadier general said that "the enemy does not have an advantage as such, tactical or operational, in the air due to the fact that Ukraine has received quite powerful assistance from partner countries: radar detection stations, surveillance, anti-aircraft missile systems, and everyone sees in practice how these systems work and what percentage of targets are hit."

However, the Russian air force is currently armed with Su-35 and Mig-31BM aircraft, which are capable of using long-range and long-range missiles, and Ukraine does not yet have this capability.

"If we just had a platform capable of using, for example, American AIM-120 air-to-air missiles - they have a range of about 180 kilometers - we would simply not allow them to approach the border within the range of these missiles," Golubtsov said.

Answering the question of how difficult it would be to hide F-16s on the territory of Ukraine to prevent Russian missiles and drones from reaching them, the representative of the Air Force Command said:

"It will not be easy to hide the planes. I think we will need to look for a comprehensive approach, to disguise and disperse them, to move them from airfield to airfield. And the second direction is to use some of the anti-aircraft missile systems to cover these airfields."

Author - Serhii Kolomiets, 29/05/2023

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