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Ukraine's Defence Minister believes Ukraine will receive modern fighter jets, explains why partners delay supply

Monday, 1 May 2023, 13:28
Ukraine's Defence Minister believes Ukraine will receive modern fighter jets, explains why partners delay supply
Oleksii Reznikov, photo from Facebook

Oleksii Reznikov, the Minister of Defence of Ukraine, is convinced that Ukraine will receive modern fighter jets of the 4+ generation from the US. He explains that the partners of Ukraine delay the supply due to their practicality and good judgement.

Source: Reznikov in an interview for the national joint 24/7 newscast on 1 May

Quote: "I have come through the evolution from saying ‘no, Oleksii, it is impossible’ to the implementation of real projects several times. The first time I heard a ‘no’ concerning the Stinger MANPADS was in November 2021, when I had just taken office with no experience but was facing big challenges and tasks from President Zelenskyy. But now I know for sure: ‘what is impossible today will be possible tomorrow’. We were supplied with Stingers in two months, in January 2022, from our Lithuanian partners by agreement of the partners."

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Details: Reznikov added that the situation was the same with 155 mm artillery (in March the partners said that it was impossible, in May Ukraine received the first batch of 155 mm artillery systems), the Himars MLRS, the Iris-T infrared homing missile, the NASAMS system, and moreover the Patriot anti-aircraft systems – especially the latter seemed fantastic, but as of now two divisions have taken up combat duty in Ukraine.

Quote: "So fighter jets of the modern 4+ generation will certainly be supplied.

Why is this supply delayed? The delay disappoints us (because it causes deaths and injuries to the Ukrainian troops, and they are our primary value, unlike the Russian soldiers for the Russians), and we explain it to our partners. Modern aircraft platforms are an important component of the air defence system. But the partners (I am not justifying them; I am just explaining) are very practical in their decision-making. This practicality makes sense: they decide what to supply us with next responsibly.

What does it mean? For instance, they made a decision to supply us with the M777 155 mm howitzers, and now they help us maintain it (they supply us with spare tubes, wheels and parts) so that we can continue using them.

If they decide to supply us with fighter jets, they have a number of aspects to consider first: whether they should order the new ones, which requires time, or supply us with the ones they already have, then it will take time to prepare them, train our troops, further maintain these jets and supply them with weaponry, i.e. missiles and bombs. It is all very expensive.

Even the Patriot system costs US$1billion plus the missiles, and a single fighter jet costs nearly US$120 million, and further maintenance is required. Ten fighter jets equal US$1.2 billion.

So when they count their budget capacities, they realise that this decision must be approved by Congress and tax payers and must not affect the current level of military aid.

They consciously and responsibly want to get to the finish line of this marathon, to the victory of Ukraine."

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