https://www.rt.com/news/563136-us-f-16-ukraine/Ukraine likely to get no F-16s soon – Politico

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If delivery is approved, it could take years to train Kiev pilots, outlet says, citing top US commander

If the US decides to supply Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets, it could be two to three years before Kiev can actually get them, Politico reports citing US Air Force General James Hecker.

Hecker, chief of the United States Air Force in Europe – Air Forces Africa (USAFE-AFAFRIKA), is said to have made the prediction during a speech Monday at an annual Air Force Association conference.

According to Politico, Hecker attributed the delay to logistical and training issues, but said he believed Ukraine could get the US-made fighter jets sometime in the future because “People are starting to think more long-term.”

The paper reported last week that the US government is considering sending F-16s and Patriot long-range anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine, expecting the conflict with Russia to last for years.

Washington has ramped up its arms supplies throughout the conflict, eventually agreeing to supply multi-launch missile systems, such as HIMARS, as well as long-range artillery platforms.

READ MORE:
West considers arming Ukraine with more powerful weapons – FT

The US has been sending increasingly heavier weapons to Kiev, saying it would provide military aid for as long as it takes to drive Russian troops out of any part of territory Ukraine claims under its sovereignty.

However, the Pentagon has so far refrained from sending some of its more advanced weapons, such as heavy armor or fighter jets, instead agreeing to facilitate the transfer of Soviet-era equipment from third countries such as Poland and the Czech Republic. Republic.

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