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The US Announced Prices And Delivery Dates For the F-16 Block 30/32 And Block 70/72

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The F-16 fighter jet / Credits: US DoD
The F-16 fighter jet / Credits: US DoD

Also told about why the USA has not yet started pilot training for these fighters

Ukraine needs Western fighters in the war against russia, however the allies have not yet given the green light to supply of them. One of the likely candidates for the Ukrainian Air Force is the F-16 fighter and the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl during the hearings in Congress in Tuesday, February 28, expressed a number of theses regarding the supply of these fighters to Ukraine.

As Colin Kahl claims, although Ukraine really needs modern Western fighter jets, they are currently not included in the top three priorities, which looks as follows: the first is air defense systems (Ukraine’s military is currently undergoing training in the USA on the Patriot air defense system), artillery systems and armored vehicles.

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The US Announced Prices And Delivery Dates For the F-16 Block 30/32 And Block 70/72 , Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
A batch of dozens of the US Bradley IFVs is already on its way to Ukraine / Open source photo

Since the official decision on the transfer of F-16s to Ukraine has not yet been made, the USA has not started training Ukraine’s pilots on American fighters. Mr. Kahl claims that it does not make sense to do it "prematurely" for two reasons: Ukraine might eventually receive other aircraft such as Tornado, Gripen or Mirage. At the same time, it will not be possible to save time, since the terms of training and delivery are approximately the same, which is about 18 months.

The US Announced Prices And Delivery Dates For the F-16 Block 30/32 And Block 70/72 , Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
German Tornado fighter jets / Open source photo

18 months is an optimistic term. In general, he continues, it can take up to two years for used fighters to be delivered, and 3 to 6 years for new ones.

Next question is the quantity. Kahl claims that Ukraine asked the United States for 128 fighter jets (previously, the Ukrainian Air Force stated the need for five aviation brigades, or 180 aircraft), while according to the estimates of the US Air Force, in the long term, Ukraine will need from 50 to 80 units.

The US Announced Prices And Delivery Dates For the F-16 Block 30/32 And Block 70/72 , Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
The F-16 fighter jet / Credits: US DoD

The prices. The F-16 Block 70/72 will cost 10-11 billion dollars. For an example and to understand the prices of modern versions of the F-16, Defense Express mentions that last year Bulgaria purchased additional F-16 Block 70 fighters worth 1.3 billion. The price of one F-16 aircraft in this case was 162.5 million dollars.

Older aircraft are also not cheap, although we are talking about smaller amounts: 36 F-16 Block 30/32 fighters are worth up to 3 billion dollars, as Kahl states. And in general, he makes the following conclusion: at the moment it is not very appropriate to spend money on opportunities that Ukraine will get in the best case in a year and a half, so it is better to direct them to such needs as the missiles Patriot, 155 mm ammunition, GMLRS missiles, armored vehicles, etc.

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