TechPlanes can decisively alter the course of war, claims Ukrainian expert

Planes can decisively alter the course of war, claims Ukrainian expert

F-16
F-16
Images source: © theaviationgeekclub
4:51 PM EST, November 19, 2023

Despite varying viewpoints regarding the presence of F-16s in Ukraine, Yuri Ignat, the spokesperson for the Ukrainian air forces, is confident that these planes can significantly alter the dynamics of the war with Russia. He highlights the capabilities of American fighters as we reiterate the specifications of the F-16.

A Ukrainian portal, Ignat mentioned in a conversation that "the planes will critically influence the trajectory of the war". He was referring to the F-16 fighters, the first few of which have already arrived at the front line.

Ignat declared, "I'd like to engage with the critics regarding the role of planes. Aircraft can drastically shift the course of war. We need advanced machines capable of gaining air superiority." He further added that F-16s can attack ground, sea, and air targets.

Additionally, these fighters shield Ukraine against Russian drones and missiles. Ignat elucidated, "With planes like the F-16, we can counteract Russia's actions. That is, we can repel Russian aircraft and act as an aerial shield for our ground forces."

F-16s in Ukraine

The Ukrainians have been requesting the supply of American F-16 fighters since the onset of the conflict with Russia. They firmly believe that this weaponry will "transform the dynamics of the combat" and enable them to exhibit dominance over their adversary. Echoing this sentiment is Ignat, who underscores the combat abilities of the F-16s.

However, when compared to the popular Eastern MiGs-29 or Su-27, labeling F-16s a requisite weapon for Ukraine might not immediately seem convincing. In reality though, it's important to note that the American gear is equipped to carry a substantially wider array of weaponry compared to its Soviet counterparts.

This implies that the F-16s can load weapons across nine weapon nodes. These can encompass AGM-65G2 Maverick air-to-ground guided missiles, Mk82 bombs (approximately 507 lbs), or Mk84 bombs (close to 1984 lbs), or AIM-120C-5 AMRAAM radar-guided air-to-air missiles.

The remaining specifications of the F-16s include a top speed of nearly 1553.4 miles/h, an empty weight of over 8 tons (17636.98 lbs) and a maximum takeoff weight of nearly 16.9 tons (37258.18 lbs). With a wingspan of just under 9.5 meters (31.17 feet), F-16 fighters have a range of 1988.4 miles, or over 2609.76 miles with additional fuel tanks. The maximum altitude they can reach is more than 15.2 km (9.4 miles).

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