A bipartisan group of U.S. senators despatched a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Tuesday urging him to research the potential of sending F-16 fighters jets to Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been urgent the U.S. and different allies to offer navy plane all through the year-long battle. President Biden has to this point declined to authorize fighter jets for Ukraine, however eight U.S. Senators wrote in a letter on Tuesday that nation is at a “crucial juncture within the battle” and may have airpower to prevail.
“After talking with U.S., Ukrainian, and overseas leaders working to assist Ukraine on the Munich Security Conference final month, we imagine the U.S. must take a tough take a look at offering F-16 plane to Ukraine,” senators wrote within the letter, which was spearheaded by Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz.
“This could be a major functionality that would show to be a sport changer on the battlefield.”
The letter famous that two Ukrainian pilots not too long ago traveled to Tucson, Arizona, to participate in a abilities evaluation on an F-16 simulator at Morris Air National Guard Base. The senators referred to as it a “crucial step” in gauging Ukrainian forces’ capabilities to obtain western fighter jets. Ukraine’s navy principally flies Soviet-made plane such because the MiG-29.
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A bipartisan group of lawmakers within the House despatched an identical letter to Biden final month urging him to offer Ukraine with plane.
“F-16s or comparable fourth era fighter plane would offer Ukraine with a extremely cellular platform from which to focus on Russian air-to-air missiles and drones, to guard Ukrainian floor forces as they interact Russian troops, in addition to to interact Russian fighters for contested air superiority,” the lawmakers wrote on Feb. 28.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki stated Tuesday that his authorities might ship Soviet-made MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine “throughout the subsequent 4 to 6 weeks,” based on the Associated Press. Other European allies have additionally hinted that they’re open to offering Ukraine with navy plane.
It wouldn’t be the primary time that the U.S. reverse course on sending sure forms of navy tools to Ukraine. The U.S. held out on sending Abrams M1 tanks for a number of months earlier than the Pentagon introduced in January that it could ship 31 tanks to the battlefield.
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