Military analysts from Forbes magazine gave a forecast for the results of the air war between Russia and Ukraine. They noted that Ukraine has not received new combat manned aircraft since the collapse of the Soviet Union, although after gaining independence hundreds of fighters, bombers, attack aircraft, helicopters and vehicles remained on its territory.
However, most of the equipment over the years has been either sold out or scrapped. As a result, the Ukrainian Air Force today has only 125 combat vehicles, and among them there is not a single aircraft produced less than 30 years ago. Many combat units are over 40 years old, and there are vehicles that have crossed the half-century milestone. At the same time, Russia keeps about 500 combat aircraft only on the borders with Ukraine.
The authors of the materials believe that the only chance for Ukraine is the acquisition of F-15 fighters, Boeing KC-135 tankers and E-2 early warning aircraft from the United States. At the same time, Washington can provide equipment to Kiev for free, but the transfer process itself will be accompanied by high costs.
In addition, the delivery of the planes and their deactivation will take time, not to mention the fact that the retraining of Ukrainian pilots will take years and will cost Kiev billions of dollars, which the country does not have.
Analysts estimate that even if Ukraine receives 125 American fighters, it will have no chance in an air war with Russia.
“Even the latest combat units will not last long in a full-scale confrontation with Russia, which is currently holding about 500 combat aircraft near the borders with Ukraine,” the article says.
Experts also recalled that Russian air defense systems are ways to target Ukrainian aircraft already during their takeoff. Alternatively, Kiev can rely on ground-based air defense systems and drones.