Ukraine “seriously” needs the West to supply “up to five brigades” with of F-16 fighter jets to replace the currently Soviet-era fleet because the technology is “inferior”, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Forces has said. 

The spokesman of the Air Force of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Yuriy Ignat, told the French TV channel La Chaîne Info that the receiving of the F-16s would allow them to strike both ground and air targets, which could prove crucial as the next Russian offensive gets underway in spring. 

He said: “We are inferior in technology. Therefore, the need is serious. It is necessary to create up to five brigades of tactical aviation with one type of multi-purpose aircraft of the Western model. What type it will be, is now being determined.

“Currently, the F-16 is the most likely candidate to replace the old Soviet aircraft, because there are certain objective reasons for this. And this is not a one-man decision, constant consultations are held with partners.” 

He added: “It is clear that we will not be able to get everything at once, but a phased transition to a new multi-role aircraft is a requirement of time.”

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