Posted By N. Nancy Posted On

Why have NATO and the US not donated F-16 fighters to Ukrαine?

NATO and the US have donated a lot of weαpσns to Ukrαine , but not a single Western fighter has been delivered to Kiev. Despite having delivered a lot of ωεɑρσռs to Ukrαine, neither the US nor NATO has given a single Western fighter to Kiev. So what is the reason? The F-16 is considered to be the most popular fighter of the US and NATO in the 21st century. The advantage of this type of fighter is that it is cheap, effective and in large numbers.

During the transition to 5th generation stealth fighters, the F-16 fighter was still considered a serious competitor. It can be used in large numbers to compensate for weaknesses in firepower or stealth. It can be affirmed that NATO and the US have a lot of F-16 fighters, even many European countries have sold used F-16s at very cheap prices, but giving aid to Ukrαine is not simple. . First, Ukrainian pilots cannot master the F-16 immediately. Specifically, Ukrainian pilots are only familiar with old Soviet-type fighters such as the Su-27, the conversion to F-16, basically the pilots will have to learn from scratch.

In the US Air Force, it can take up to 18 months for a pilot to fully master the F-16. Of which, at least 400 hours of flying time on the F-16 – to be considered “an experienced F-16 pilot”. Obviously, if Ukrainian pilots have been learning to fly quickly since the early days of a special military operation, they still cannot have enough flight hours to be able to go to ωɑɾ. In addition, an F-16 fighter will require facilities and maintenance according to US standards. Ukrαine does not have this – because the country is used to operating Soviet-type fighters.

If facilities such as hangars, warehouses or auxiliary machinery for aircraft maintenance can be built quickly in a few months, the training of aeronautical engineers to maintain aircraft , which is even longer than it takes to train F-16 pilots. The above difficulties have prevented NATO and the US from transferring F-16s to Ukrαine. Even if it tried to bring the F-16 to Ukrαine, Kiev would not have enough facilities to receive it and not enough pilots to operate it.

In addition, although the F-16 is considered a “cheap” fighter by the US and NATO, the maintenance process of this fighter is also extremely complicated. According to the US Air Force, 45% of the force’s F-16 fighters are always in a state of “maintenance”. With less effective air forces than the US, the percentage of F-16s “on the ground” waiting for maintenance could be much higher. This makes the F-16, in some respects, also a difficult fighter.