Why NATO is sending F-16s to Ukraine: 'Russia can withstand war for another 4 years'

F16 jets, defense batteries like the Samp-T and an “irreversible trajectory” towards membership. The NATO summit decides to block support for Ukraine. And it does so while US President Joe Biden warns that Russia is “on a war footing” with the help of China and North Korea. Who support Moscow’s war effort by financing its arms industry. But why has NATO decided to change its pace? According to analysts, the precision weapons supplied so far by the West to kyiv “will not be able to have a long-term impact on the dynamics of the conflict”. Because “Russia quickly learns to neutralize them or reduce their effectiveness”. In addition, Vladimir Putin has transformed the country’s production machine into a war economy. It can recruit thousands of men per month and receives weapons from allies. This can prolong the conflict for another three or four years.

NATO, Ukraine and Russia

Even before the official opening of the meeting in Washington, several NATO countries announced that they had begun transferring F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. Those arriving from Denmark and the Netherlands “will take to the skies over Ukraine this summer,” according to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Belgium and Norway have pledged to provide additional aircraft. Biden confirmed that the allies would also provide Ukraine with a total of five additional air defense systems. These include four Patriot batteries, surface-to-air missiles that are particularly effective at intercepting Russian ballistic missiles. Germany, the Netherlands, Romania and Italy are among the contributors. “This new commitment sends a clear message to the world,” the president said, welcoming the fact that 23 of the alliance’s 32 countries will now spend 2% of their GDP on military spending.

The irreversible trajectory of NATO membership

Military aid to kyiv will reach 40 billion euros next year. Italy will contribute 1.7 billion dollars. But Ukraine would have liked to receive a formal invitation to join the Atlantic Alliance. But it will have to wait even longer due to the opposition of several countries. But the allies agree to recognize that Zelensky's country is on an “irreversible trajectory” towards membership, as stated in the final communiqué. The shadow of former President Donald Trump looms over the summit. Who has repeatedly been critical of NATO. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is also present at the summit, after his recent trips to Moscow and Beijing, which were very negatively received, particularly in Washington. The F-16s will arrive in Ukraine on a contingent basis. The total number is estimated at between 70 and 100 units.

The F-16s

The first ten will arrive by summer. And Ukrainian pilots will have to be trained to use them. And there is more. A military source who worked on Ukraine long before the conflict began explains that Russia is currently superior in air-to-air combat. In addition, the F-16s have a limited offensive range compared to the Russian one: “Kiev will not be supplied with the latest generation missiles such as the AIM-120 D. They are few in number and expensive. They will give it the Cs which have a shorter range. The F-16s will, however, guarantee a competitive advantage if they are used as an air defense platform against cruise missiles or drones, or as support and for actions aimed at hitting ground targets through the launch of missiles such as Storm Shadow“.

Finally, there is the hypothesis that Poland will strike missiles arriving on its territory already in Ukrainian airspace. “This could mean that Warsaw is committed to creating an air shield in western Ukraine, ensuring the security of the airfields where the F-16s will be positioned,” the source concludes.

Russia's Technological War

A series of military analyses conducted in recent months also reveal that the Russians have learned to render satellite-guided weapons ineffective. At present, only some of the most recent systems, such as the Atacms ballistic missiles and the Storm Shadow cruise missiles, delivered to Ukraine by the United Kingdom, have been successfully used for large-scale attacks in Crimea. Damage mainly to air bases and batteries of Russian S-400 air defense systems. the wall street journal He writes that it is likely that these weapons will also lose their effectiveness in the coming months. Thus forcing NATO into an arms race. Furthermore, he explains The imprintMoscow has the opportunity to prolong the conflict for another three or four years. Because it receives weapons, ammunition and drones from Iran and North Korea. It has no problem recruiting into the army. And its economy is resistant to sanctions.

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