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“Even 50 is nothing” – Zelenskyy says Ukraine needs 128 F-16 jets

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called for 128 F-16 fighter jets to counter Russia’s daily deployment of 300 aircraft against Ukraine.
f-16bm combat trainer aircraft from 322nd squadron royal netherlands credit militarnyi f-16 jets
F-16BM combat trainer aircraft from the 322nd Squadron of the Royal Netherlands Credit: Militarnyi.
“Even 50 is nothing” – Zelenskyy says Ukraine needs 128 F-16 jets

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Ukraine needs 128 Western F-16 fighter jets to achieve air parity with Russia.

Speaking at the Ronald Reagan Institute in Washington, Zelenskyy emphasized the importance of both quantity and timing in the F-16 issue.

“Russia uses 300 aircraft against Ukraine every day. We had a decision about 10-20. Even if it’s 50, it’s nothing. We’re defending ourselves, we need 128. That’s a fleet,” Zelenskyy said.

The president added that Ukraine’s allies possess this information and stressed that without 128 aircraft, it would be difficult for Ukraine to match Russian capabilities in the sky.

The Ukrainian Air Force had previously reported that 128 fighters were necessary to replace Ukraine’s aging air fleet.

Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren announced the approval to export 24 F-16 fighters to Ukraine in early July, with the first aircraft expected to be transferred “in the near future.”

Ukrainian pilots are currently undergoing training. Ukraine may receive only six of the approximately 45 F-16 fighters promised by Western countries by July. The report adds that 12 pilots are expected to complete training by this summer, which is less than a full squadron.

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