US: fighter aircraft “remain on the table,” but no final decisions yet made

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US Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Dr. Colin Kahl held a press briefing on Security Assistance in Support of Ukraine.

He said that the US focuses on providing “the systems that Ukraine itself can sustain. But I can tell you that fighter aircraft remain on the table, just no final decisions have been made about that.”

Kahl stressed that the US had provided Ukraine with some of anti-radiation missiles, the HARM missiles, and adapted those missiles to be able to fire off MIG-29, though they were designed to fly off US aircraft. “The Ukrainians in recent weeks have been using the HARM missiles to great effect to take out Russian radar systems,” he added.

“As it relates to future aircrafts, fourth generation aircraft, for example, even if we were to provide those now, they wouldn’t arrive for years, so we’ve been focused on as it relates to their fighter aircraft on what they need for the to support the current efforts to hold in the east and perhaps going on a counter offensive.

As it relates to the future of aircraft, let me tell you where we are in the process. So, Secretary Austin has tasked the office of Secretary of Defense to work with the Joint Staff and European Command, essentially on a future-forces picture of kind of the Ukrainian force for the mid- to long-term,” Kahl said.

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