Since the war started five months ago, western countries have been continously providing Ukraine with different types of military equipments. Recently, the West has provided the Ukrainian army with heavy artillery systems such as Pzh 2000 and M777, but for advanced fighters, the United States and NATO have always denied providing them. However, it seems like things are going to change soon.
According to the Washington Post, the Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force said “While it is uncertain which fighter jets will be supplied to Ukraine, discussions have been ongoing to strengthen the Ukrainian Air Force, including the transfer of new (Western-built) aircraft,” General Brown said.
Brown claimed that “providing Ukraine with non-russian-made fighter jets, that is, American and European-made fighters, is not ruled out.” He cited several possible models, including the Swedish-made JAS-39 “Gripen”, the French-made Dassault “Rafale” and Eurofighter “Typhoon”, meanwhile, at the same forum event, the US Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall did not rule out the possibility of handing over the A-10 “Thunderbolt II” attack aircraft to the Ukrainian army.
After the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war on February 24, the two sides fought fiercely for air supremacy.
Although the Russian Aerospace Forces have also suffered a lot of losses, they are gradually gaining air supremacy by virtue of their solid background. Although the two sides use Sukhoi and MiG fighters with similar blood, the Russian military is generally advanced for about half a generation. Su-35 relying on the passive phased array airborne fire control radar and the R-77 advanced medium-range air-to-air missile that “fires and forget”, the old-fashioned Su-27 and MiG-29 of the Ukrainian military were beaten badly. The young Russian pilots have thus become ace pilots. Except for the sporadic Su-25 attack planes that can still be dispatched, the Ukrainian army can hardly support air operations. The “Kyiv War Ghost” has long been confirmed to be Ukraine’s false propaganda.
The delivery of Western-made fighter jets to Ukraine would obviously be an opportunity to turn the tide of the war. However, the relevant discussions have been going on from several months. On the one hand, the reason is that Ukrainian pilots are used to fly Russian-made fighter jets. The use of Western-made fighter jets requires training for several months or even 1 or 2 years. The direct participation of Western pilots in the war is likely to trigger a direct confrontation between NATO and Russia. Once it is out of control, the nuclear arsenals of both sides are in danger of detonating.
So far, the advanced Western-made fighter jets, the Russian-made fighter jets in the hands of former Warsaw Pact members seem to have failed to be used by the Ukrainian army. There was a typical case in the early days of the war. Slovakia and Poland agreed to transfer the existing MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine, but they hoped to transfer them to the US military base in Germany, and then Ukrainian pilots would drive them back to China. Although these countries are “anti-russian”, but they did not want to jump directly to the front line to become the target of the Russian army, but rather wanted to hide behind the United States and fan the flames, and then take chestnuts from the fire.
In the end, this may be another “talk” from the top military and political leaders of the United States. The British, French, German, Italian and Swiss air forces are the major users of the “Typhoon”, “Rafale” and “Gripen” fighter jets. Maybe they will directly provide their existing fleet of fighter jets to Ukraine, and will inevitably send training and maintenance personnel to Ukraine. There is a big risk that these countries may not be willing to directly provide fighter jets to Ukraine. In fact, even Britain, which is the toughest on Russia, will not be so stupid.
As a pure ground attack aircraft, the A-10 requires an “absolute air superiority” during its flight missions. In the current situation of the Russian-Ukrainian battlefield, the survivability is not high, and it is impossible for Ukrainian pilots to fly these Western aircraft in a short time.