Defence Minister of Ukraine, Oleksii Reznikov has stated that the country will take at least six or seven months to start operating F-16 fighter jets.
Reznikov highlighted that the jets themselves are simply a platform and that munitions and infrastructure needed to operate them must be also taken into account.
As such, he noted that it is necessary to train not only pilots but also engineers and technicians.
“This is a serious set of tasks and we have to train several hundred people to put the first birds in the Ukrainian sky,” Reznikov averred.
Reznikov admitted that Ukrainian pilots have already demonstrated the ability to complete their training within six months. However, the timeframe for the technical staff is still unknown.
“I think that six to seven months is the minimal period that should be seriously taken into account,” Reznikov averred, adding that he will not be disappointed if it takes even slightly longer.
Reznikov emphasized that Ukrainian military staff have already exceeded expectations concerning their ability to learn to use Western equipments.
“I believe that our people are very talented. They mastered the Patriot system in 10 weeks instead of 10 months and the 155 caliber artillery systems in three weeks instead of three months. Therefore, I am sure that the Ukrainian F-16s will be liberating the temporarily occupied territories over Ukraine.”Oleksii Reznikov
The Netherlands and Denmark announced on Sunday, August 20, 2023, that they would transfer F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine as soon as certain conditions are met.
Russia has warned that supplying the jets to Ukraine will only escalate the war.
However, Mykhailo Podolyak, a Senior Adviser to Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, noted on Tuesday, August 22, 2023, that the delivery of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine will rather de-escalate the conflict and help to minimise the country’s losses.
Podolyak posted on social media that the fighter jets delivery “is, first of all, about the full understanding by the donor countries (Nordic countries) of the general nature of the war, and this particular stage.”
“It is also about de-escalation, significant reduction of the risks of war expansion, and acceleration of a fair ending. It is about minimising Ukrainian losses, optimising offensive operations and increasing the effectiveness of destroying the Russian occupation group.
“The countries that are now transferring aviation equipment to Ukraine are openly demonstrating that they are deeply interested in protecting international law, democracy and justice.”Mykhailo Podolyak
“All of this is possible only if Russia is absolutely defeated. It is extremely important that Ukraine’s other coalition partners make similar decisions,” he added.
Ukrainian Troops Enter Village Of Robotyne
Also on Tuesday, Ukraine announced that its troops had entered the strategically important south-eastern village of Robotyne, a potentially significant advance in its counteroffensive against Russia.
“Our soldiers in the village of Robotyne,” General Oleksandr Tarnavskyi, Commander of Ukrainian forces in the south, noted on Telegram under a picture of a soldier in a tank.
Robotyne is six miles south of Orikhiv, a town on an important road leading to Tokmak, a Russian-occupied road and rail hub. Tokmak’s capture would be a milestone as Ukrainian troops press southwards towards the Sea of Azov.
The Institute for the Study of War, an American research group and think tank, has described the Ukrainian attacks on Robotyne as “tactically significant.”
“Ukrainian advances across fields in this area likely confirm this assessment. Persistent Ukrainian advances in the Robotyne area also likely aim to degrade Russian forces that have committed significant effort, resources, and personnel to hold positions around Robotyne.”Institute for the Study of War
READ ALSO: Bawumia Has What It Takes- Dr Gideon Boako