Ukraine has kept American-made F-16s on its weapons wish list since the Russian invasion last February, but artillery, armor and ground-based air defense systems have been viewed as more urgent needs as Ukraine seeks to protect its civilian infrastructure and regain ground occupied by Russian forces, Politico said in an article published at the weekend.
As Ukraine prepares to launch a new offensive to retake territory in the spring, the campaign inside the Pentagon for fighter jets is gaining momentum, according to the article.
Ukraine has renewed its request for modern fighters in recent days, with a top adviser to the country’s defense minister announcing a stepped-up push for jets from the United States and European countries, Politico reported.
A top Ukrainian official said on Saturday that Ukraine and its Western allies were engaged in “fast-track” talks on possible deliveries of both military aircraft and long-range missiles, according to Politico.
A Ukrainian diplomat said on Friday that Western countries had promised to send a total of 321 heavy tanks to Ukraine to help it battle Russia's invasion.
In late December, the United States said it would send a Patriot air defense missile battery to Ukraine to help the country defend itself against Russia.
Earlier this month, Washington announced a new weapons package for Kyiv, worth more than USD 3 billion and including Bradley fighting vehicles and new air defense missiles.
The White House said on January 5 that Germany would "join the United States in supplying an additional Patriot air defense battery to Ukraine."
Sunday is day 340 of Russia’s war against Ukraine.
Source: IAR, PAP, ukrinform.net, politico.com