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    HomeWorldPilots Say F-16s Can Help Ukraine But Missiles Could Down Them

    Pilots Say F-16s Can Help Ukraine But Missiles Could Down Them

    Pilots Say F-16s Can Help Ukraine But Missiles Could Down Them

    — The F-16 jets that the Ukrainian is touting as a potential game-changer in its conflict with will either be restricted to defense or deployed in very high-risk operations, according to people who've flown the planes in combat.

    The General Dynamics Corp fighter-bombers will be a significant upgrade on the Soviet-era planes that Ukrainian pilots have been flying so far. But the F-16s that are likely to be sent to Ukraine will still have inferior radar and shorter range missiles that the most modern Russian jets and air defenses.

    “It'll be like they pushed the easy button or switched from driving a Lada to a Honda Accord,” says Brynn Tannehill, a former aviator who designed simulatros for F-16s, referring to the notoriously clunky Soviet-era Lada car. All the same, she added, “you can't overcome the laws of physics.”

    That means that the Ukrainians may have to rein in their stated expectations that the F-16s will enable them to to impose air superiority, shoot down cruise missiles and the latest enemy jets, destroy troops and artillery on the battlefield, and even sink the Black Sea Fleet. The jets would, instead, give Ukraine “an incremental capability that they don't have right now,” U.S. Air Secretary Frank Kendall said at a briefing on May 22.

    Were they to fly at Russian lines to take out artillery, air defenses, or jets, Ukraine's F-16 pilots would likely get an alert…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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