Western powers are resisting Ukraine’s growing demand for advanced fighter jets to fend off Russian airstrikes.
On Monday, the US and UK denied sending their latest F-16 Fighting Falcon, Typhoon and F-35 fighter jets to Ukraine.
Yury Sak, an adviser to Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, has previously suggested that the benefits of having a Western-made fighter jet are “immeasurable.”
“Fourth generation aircraft, this is what we want,” Sack told Reuters.
Tuesday, Ukrainian Outlets Ukraine Pravda He quoted the country’s Air Force spokesperson, Yuri Inat, as advocating for 200 multirole fighters.
“We are lagging behind when it comes to technology, so the need is acute,” said Ihnat. “A complete set of western multi-purpose aircraft should form a maximum of five tactical wings.”
He said Russia has six times as many military aircraft as Ukraine, according to the BBC.
Ukraine has confirmed the loss of 52 fighter jets since Russian forces invaded on 24 February 2022, although this may be less than the actual unknown figure. In a Facebook update Wednesday morning, the Ukrainian Armed Forces Chief of Staff said 293 Russian planes had been destroyed since the start of hostilities, but did not give details of the types of aircraft lost. .
It is also difficult to determine how many aircraft the Kyiv army had to have in the first place.one forbes According to estimates, Ukraine has about 24 Su-24s, 30 Su-25s, MiG-29s and Su-27s, which Ukraine received before the independence of the Soviet Union.
The twin-engine MiG-29 has a top speed of around 1,500 mph and was designed with air-to-air combat in mind. Often compared to the F-15 and F-16, it has a ceiling of only 60,000 feet. The Su-27 has a similar ceiling and top speed.
The Russian inventory is not very similar and also includes many Cold War era jets. However, post-Soviet modernization has revived the Russian fleet, armed with the Su-30, Su-34 and Su-35.
On 9 January 2023, the UK Ministry of Defense said: Russia “almost certainly” used its most advanced fifth-generation fighter jets against Ukraine. The Su-57 Feron jet is equipped with advanced avionics and stealth technology, but Russia limits its use, the ministry added.
“These missions are likely to be limited to flying over Russian territory and firing long-range air-to-ground or air-to-air missiles into Ukraine,” the ministry said.
Throughout the war in Ukraine, Western commentators and analysts have assumed that Russia’s air force has failed to deliver on its promised capabilities. An assessment of the Russian Air Force suggested that the Russian Air Force lacked the “organized ability to plan, describe and fly large-scale and complex air operations.”
Contribution to British magazine audience In November, Justin Bronk, a professor at the RUSI think tank, argued that Russia’s failure to establish air superiority “was one of the hallmarks of previous aggressions.”
But “with the war going on, it would be a dangerous mistake to underestimate Russia’s air power,” he said.
In air-to-air combat, Russian fighters “completely outperformed their Ukrainian adversaries,” Bronk said. Notably, Russian Su-35S and Su-30SM jets have better radar than Ukrainian Su-27 and MiG-29 aircraft. And Ukraine has a much smaller number of fighter jets at its disposal, Bronk added.
But Bronk said Ukrainian air defense systems, including surface-to-air missiles, thwarted Russia’s attempts to establish air superiority.
He continued: “Radar-guided mobile surface-to-air systems began to seriously damage Russian aircraft flying at medium and high altitudes within Ukrainian airspace, forcing them to begin flying very low to avoid radar detection. it was done.”
Frank Ledwidge, a barrister and former military officer who has served in the Middle East and the Balkans, said that while it is difficult to assess the exact number of the two opposing air forces, Ukraine has been at war since the start of the war 11 months ago. said it suffered heavy losses.
He said Newsweek Ukraine’s ground air defense system was the “winning card” in fending off Russian air superiority.
“Russia could not leverage that number because Ukraine essentially succeeded in challenging air superiority over its own territory,” Ledwidge said.
“Russian aircraft do not venture over Ukraine. It’s a level that dominates the battlefield,” he added.
But if Ukraine receives advanced Western-made fighter jets, they are likely to outperform most of the aircraft that Russia operates, Ledwidge said.
The Russian Air Force has also demonstrated its inability to put multiple aircraft into the air at once, focus multiple aircraft on specific targets, and conduct combat damage assessments, Ledwidge argued.