More needs to be done before Ukraine deploys F-16s - Air Force spox

More needs to be done before Ukraine deploys F-16s - Air Force spox

International partners are ready to provide Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets, but comprehensive measures to prepare for their effective use are still underway.

That’s according to Air Force Command spokesman Yuriy Ihnat, who spoke on the air of the national telethon, Ukrinform reports.

"Partners are ready to provide us with these capabilities. The question is whether everything is ready for their operation in Ukraine. Quite often we see all kinds of timelines or forecasts, coming from different countries or experts. It is clear that everything must be prepared, including pilots, infrastructure, and maintenance engineers, and also there are other factors that are not discussed as widely," Ihnat said.

The spokesman emphasized a comprehensive approach to deploying any new multi-purpose aircraft in Ukraine, let alone their combat use.

Read also: Swedish foreign minister not ruling out transfer of Gripen jets to Ukraine

"Of course, you may see statements from European leaders that ‘we are ready to hand over the planes to you already’. ‘Hand over’ means that simply moving them to our territory. And this is not the option Ukraine needs. We need them to fly and engage the invaders from the air, protect our airspace, push Russia’s aircraft away from our borders, and intercept Shaded drones attacking our country during the night hours," Ihnat added.

Read also: Training of F-16 maintenance personnel continues – Defense Ministry

As Ukrinform reported earlier, during the extraordinary meeting of the Ukraine-NATO Council, the allies gave a positive assessment of the preparations for the deployment of F-16 combat aircraft in Ukraine.

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