Another US Pilot Confirms F-16s In Ukraine Are Toast

Another US Pilot Confirms F-16s In Ukraine Are Toast

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Written by Drago Bosnic, independent geopolitical and military analyst

Ever since the special military operation (SMO) started, one of the most persistent tropes has been the one about Western “wunderwaffen” defeating the “evil Russian shovel-wielding hordes“. And yet, the only result of these ludicrous delusions has been that museums across Russia have drastically increased their collections of weapons that various foolish invaders have tried using against the Eurasian giant. However, in this particular case, it will be effectively impossible to find the weapon in question in any Russian museum. The reason? Well, quite simple – getting blown out of the sky makes it exceedingly difficult to collect all the tiny pieces of the said weapon. And yes, you’ve guessed it, it’s a fighter jet. And yes, you’ve guessed it again, it’s an F-16. The hype over the US-made aircraft has been going on for well over two years, with the mainstream propaganda machine trying to portray it as the “ultimate wunderwaffe“.

To say these are delusions would be an understatement. However, even in the political West, there are times, no matter how seldom, when the words of actual professionals can be heard. And those nearly always stand in stark contrast to what the mainstream propaganda machine is claiming. For instance, back in late February, Politico interviewed Tom Richter, a retired US military pilot, who stated that the F-16 is “highly engineered” when compared to the MiG-29, even calling the former “a prima donna” and stressing that it’s “very sensitive and needs high maintenance”. He described Soviet-made aircraft as “more rough and tumble”, capable of “fly[ing] off poorly maintained airfields” and “need[ing] less maintenance”. It should be noted that Ukrainian pilots themselves openly stated that they preferred the Soviet-made jets they inherited, as they consider them superior, particularly the venerable Su-27.

This aircraft is often regarded as the best and most advanced fighter jet of the 20th century. It also served as the basis for the now legendary Su-35S, one of the SMO’s superstars, a fact that not even the endemically Russophobic United Kingdom dares to question. Even Moscow’s oldest “Flanker” variants (NATO reporting name for the Su-27 and its many derivatives) such as the Su-27SM3 are much more advanced than the original jet, meaning that the F-16 will have an extremely tough time matching those, particularly in dogfights. However, as the day of the delivery of the first F-16 is nearing, the mainstream propaganda machine and the Neo-Nazi junta are as eager as ever to present the US-made jets as the much-touted “game changer” in the ongoing NATO-orchestrated Ukrainian conflict. The political West insists that the F-16 has been combat-proven and that it will be a boost to the Kiev regime forces.

And yet, several retired American pilots don’t seem to share the excitement about the overhyped US jet’s deployment against the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS). According to Business Insider, the skies over Ukraine will be “the most dangerous battlefield that the [F-16] fighter jets have faced so far”, as they will be going up against “Russia’s advanced air-defense systems and long-range air-to-air missiles”. John Baum, a retired US Air Force (USAF) Lieutenant Colonel who flew over 2,300 hours as an F-16 pilot, stated that the fight against the VKS would surely be the most challenging ever for the jet. He argues that the first US-led aggression against Iraq in 1991 was “a very, very tough situation”, but that “F-16s from Ukraine going against Russia — absolutely, without a doubt, the toughest scenario that the F-16 will have off of its nose”. InfoBRICS made such assessments years ago, also predicting unfavorable odds for it.

Apart from threats such as the world-class Russian SAM (surface-to-air missile) systems like the S-300 series (particularly the advanced PMU-1/2 and V4 variants) and the more modern S-400, the F-16 will also be facing the aforementioned Su-35S air superiority fighters and MiG-31BM interceptors, both of which can carry the hypersonic R-37M, the world’s longest-range air-to-air missile that effectively makes both aircraft “the flying S-400”. The Su-35S and MiG-31BM are both equipped with extremely powerful radars (“Irbis” and “Zaslon-M”, respectively) with detection ranges exceeding 400 km, matching the maximum firing range for the R-37M. It should also be noted that these jets can be supported by other Russian strategic ISR (intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance) assets such as the A-50U AEW&C (airborne early warning and control) aircraft and ground-based radars.

“There is a gazillion ways to detect these F-16s. The Russians are bringing high-end equipment to the Ukraine war”, Brynn Tannehill, a defense analyst and former US Navy aviator, told Business Insider, adding: “Past F-16 foes in the Middle East like Iraq and Syria were typically operating legacy Soviet equipment and probably weren’t quite as well-trained or equipped as Moscow is now.”

Baum reinforced this notion with a statement that Russia has “probably one of the most robust and advanced integrated air-defense systems in the world”, although he added that the F-16 “will have a capability to build situational awareness and feed that picture to the rest of the Ukrainian forces”. This claim might be connected to the fact that the F-16s the Neo-Nazi junta is slated to receive will be compatible with NATO ISR systems, meaning that such assets flying in Poland, Romania or over the Black Sea could be used to extend the range of the F-16’s otherwise far inferior weapons and sensors. However, Baum conceded that “perhaps one of the biggest issues the fighters will face is the physical layout of the operating environment”. According to his assessment, “when Ukrainian F-16s take off, they could be immediately within range of Russian [SAM] systems”, rather than operating from the safety of a neutral territory.

“They [can’t] use it to their advantage to safely approach the battle space. Ukrainian pilots may be looked at and targeted before they even get to begin to do their own tactics,” Baum said.

Some analysts believe that the F-16s could be used for air defense roles, augmenting the existing ground-based SAM systems in service with the Kiev regime forces. However, back in late October last year, I argued that the opposite could actually happen, as the Neo-Nazi junta will have to use its increasingly dilapidated air defenses to protect airbases housing the US-made jets. The Russian military has a plethora of long-range strike systems easily capable of wiping out any and all infrastructure slated to house F-16s. This is particularly true for large Soviet-era airfields and airbases which are actively being adapted for that purpose. The Russian military could send its MiG-31K/I strike fighters outfitted with 9-A-7660 “Kinzhal” hypersonic missile systems or launch the “Iskander-M” ground-based hypersonic missiles at such bases. Either way, unlike the Kiev regime, Moscow has many options.

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Lll

f16 old planes

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Buck Rogers

we used to call them ‘lawn darts’; the f-16 is aerodynamically unstable and can’t stay in the sky without the flight-control computer.

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Barba Papa

that is by design though and does not make the f-16 bad on principle. all modern fighters are designed that way. attrition was high during the cold war, but the mission profile back then was to fly low level underneath soviet radars. in the murky clouded skies over western europe that got a lot of pilots killed. i think the f-16 is overrated because it is old technology that russia already developed counters too and ukrainian pilots will take too much time to train properly on them.

Антон

indeed, it’s like all modern fighters and “stealth” bombers too, at least i have read the same about su-27 family – aerodynamically unstable in x-axis. two b-2 were lost while assistant computer of stabilization system was switched off during take off or landing.

just curious

unstable?…….kind of like the regime and its allies themselves. that’d be a nice fit then.

just curious

if frenchies are flying the planes, does that make the planes french toast?

Kibosh master

absolutely french toast.

CEO of Yapping

let’s say ukraine got some f-16 jets… what are they going to do with them? where are they going to hide them even?

remember when turkish drones getting shot down left and right at the begging of the war? now you don’t even hear about any type of surveillance drones that ukraine could use… what are they going to do with f-16? this is just another cope for neo-nazi fangirls, ukraine lost the war months ago.

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CEO of Yapping

also, we know nato have given ukraine their shit… don’t be surprise if there 100s of problem with those f-16 jets (if ukraine get them). tbh i can’t wait to see f-16 jets shot down…

Barba Papa

use them to fire nato missiles like storm shadow and taurus of course. and other advanced nato weaponry too advanced to be fitted to old ukrainian migs and sukhois. in the end it all comes down nato being desperate yet again for another wunderwaffe to turn the tide of the war.

CEO of Yapping

my whole point was it wouldn’t change anything in the long run. it is not like ukraine is flooded by western missiles like storm shadow or taurus. ukraine can’t even fly a modern drone… you think those jets can last longer in ukraine? that is some heavy cope.

also, one storm shadow is $3.19 million and one taurus missile is $1.6 million. ukraine doesn’t get that many of them.

Piipii

it’s about the internal politics of the west, where they want to show that they support, even though they already know how it will turn out. on the other hand, the f-16 is expected to be a platform for long-range air-to-ground missiles. but i don’t know if it will work at all.

in any case, money to the rats..

just curious

ukraine is running out of men but lots of rats breeding in the trenches, so maybe they could start training the rats?

CEO of Yapping

i really don’t think the west should give ukraine f-16 jets just to save their own face. those f-16 jets would see the same fate as ukraine jets and drones. like we all saw how russia find ukrainian drones/jets and destroy them… btw that was at the beginning of the war.

but i guess we will see sooner or later.

Антон

they are using small uavs of different types launched from front line. but male type ( like “bye-tractor”) uavs don’t fly near front line anymore. i’ve read they are patrolling ~70 km deep in rear making videos or radar scanning from very high altitude for distant observation while we can see videos from hohols rear positions filmed with uav’s camera. there is at least one video from uav flying over old s-300 of hohols in the moment when aad get hit. obsolete aad can’t track small uavs.

CEO of Yapping

i understand what you mean but you can’t compare small uavs to jets (f-16)…

the problem with bigger drones and jets are they need to place them in an airport or long clean road… which by sometime the russian can find those and destroy them.

it doesn’t matter how ukraine use these f-16 jets… the problem overtime russia will find them and destroy them one by one. so, what is the point of these f-16 jets but cope?

Keith

they us, natostan sure didn’t want to expose their f35 wonder weapon.

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a well known fact

training takes too long. half the time is dedicated to training how to hopefully recover from equipment failures.

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Kibosh master

agreed, f16s wont make a difference at all. it’s just another candy to dangle in front of the coked up jewbagger running ukraine. it will make a nice photo op. then it gets annihilated by the russians, like the ones they tried to secretly assemble near lvov.

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Erikovitch

these ukrainian pilots will be fresh grads with zero combat experience. lambs to the slaughter against seasoned highly trained, combat experienced pilots. what could possibly go wrong?

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Attila

special military operation my foot .

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