Could Ukraine receive F-15 fighter jets? – Technology Org

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McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle is an impressive aircraft, even though it’s been in service since 1976. It is a twin-engine all-weather tactical fighter aircraft with a primary focus on engaging airborne targets.

Its derivative, the F-15E Strike Eagle, in service since 1989, is an all-weather strike aircraft, designed to destroy targets on the ground. Either of these fighter jets would significantly enhance the firepower of the Air Forces of Ukraine.

F-15 Eagle, designed for air superiority.

F-15 Eagle, designed for air superiority. Image credit: U.S. Air Force Photo by Master Sgt. Shaun Withers via Wikimedia

Since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24th, Ukraine’s allies have been scrambling to provide support, including heavy weapons and ammunition. However, piloted combat aircraft, particularly fighter jets, pose many questions. How can you give Ukraine fighter jets without making your own airfields legitimate targets for the Russian invaders? Also, what aircraft?

Ukrainian pilots are very familiar with soviet-made fighters, such as the MiG-29. And there are several countries that operate these and similar-age military jets that could be used for the defense of Ukraine. But maybe it is time to move towards weapons of NATO standards?

At this point, it is clear that Ukraine is heading West and soviet-made weapons will eventually be phased out. Ukraine is already using the 155 mm artillery standard, instead of the old soviet 152 mm. Maybe the same should be done with fighter jets?

Not to mention the fact that Ukraine desperately needs to rebuild air superiority in its own skies. Fighter jets can shoot down cruise missiles very well. They can also make sure that no enemy aircraft will be able to enjoy freedom in the skies of a protected country. The F-15E is extremely good at striking ground targets, even deep behind the enemy lines. But could Ukraine receive them?

Well, yes, why not? The F-15, as impressive as it is, is quite old and doesn’t have significantly advanced technologies that desperately need to be kept away from the Russians. Also, it is a tested and widely used fighter, which would fit the needs of Ukraine’s air defense. The United States operates more than 230 regular F-15 aircraft and nearly as many of F-15Es.

F-15E Strike Eagle is optimized to engage ground targets.

F-15E Strike Eagle is optimized to engage ground targets. Image credit: SSgt Thomas Trower via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Ukrainian military expert, a colonel in reserve Oleg Zhdanov said that it is likely that the F-15 is in the plans of Ukraine or maybe even on its way.

“The first conversations about the training of our pilots abroad started around June, and now the first pilots should be ready somewhere in December-January. If the course lasts 11 months or a year, during the next summer we will see our pilots back. You can be sure that when the pilots are ready, the aircraft will appear immediately and in Ukrainian colors”, said Zhdanov.

He said that training is one of 2 major issues in acquiring F-15s for the defense of Ukraine. The second issue is financing – jet fighters are expensive to buy, operate and maintain.

It is likely that Ukraine’s skies one day will be protected by Western-made fighter jets. The question is, if they can come quickly enough to help Ukraine end this war sooner.

 

Sources: Unian.net , Wikipedia




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