Poland wouldn’t eliminate the spine of its air pressure.
Though integrating F-16s within the Ukrainian Air Drive would not be easy, Ukraine remains to be working to acquire two squadrons of Combating Falcon jets. On Jan. 30, 2023, Andrii Yernak, the pinnacle of the Workplace of the President of Ukraine, acknowledged on Telegram that “Work on acquiring F-16 fighters continues. We’ve got constructive indicators from Poland, which is able to go them on to us in coordination with NATO.”
Opposite to the claims of the Ukrainian media and officers, Polish officers didn’t point out the F-16 particularly in any method, and responding to questions requested by the journalists on that matter, Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish PM, stated: “Equally because it was a number of months again, inside the context of MiGs, right here it’s gonna be the identical, [transfer of] another air belongings can be coordinated with NATO states, applied with them, and finally transferred. We’ll work in full coordination.”
Ukrainian Minister of Protection Oleksii Reznikov claimed that final 12 months he made up a Christmas want record, together with “fighter plane, air belongings, ATACMS-like missiles, or related belongings providing a stand-off functionality to assault Russian gas and munitions storage, and command posts”.
It stays extremely unlikely, nonetheless, that Poland can be transferring any of its F-16s to Ukraine. First, the Polish fleet of 48 F-16 Block 52+ Vipers kinds the very spine of the Polish Air Drive now. That department of the army additionally operates the MiG-29 and the Su-22 as its prime fight belongings. As we will keep in mind from final 12 months, the MiG-29 Fulcrums weren’t transferred to Ukraine ultimately, they usually have been moved to the Malbork AB in northern Poland as a substitute. It could actually be lower than logical to maintain the Fulcrums of their nest and eliminate essentially the most fashionable, and essentially the most critically wanted air asset – and ship it to Ukraine. Particularly, as no direct substitute can be immediately accessible.
As Thomas Newdick of The Drive wrote in his piece “transferring a portion of the Polish F-16 fleet would seem like much less probably than securing secondhand jets from NATO operators actively drawing down their Viper fleets.” There are quite a few European customers of the F-16 which might be withdrawing their Vipers as they’re regularly being changed by the F-35 – such because the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, and Belgium. The legacy F-16AM/BM plane can be way more more likely to be the candidate for a possible switch.