Ukraine is conducting secret negotiations with the United States on the transfer to Kyiv of American F-16 fighters, Patriot anti-aircraft missile systems, as well as Gray Eagle reconnaissance and strike drones. This is reported by the American edition of Politico, citing its sources.
The article notes that recently the Ukrainian authorities no longer bring this issue into the public field, but have moved from loud calls to “quieter consultations.” Behind the scenes, however, they continue to try to obtain these weapons from Washington.
According to the interlocutors of the publication, this is largely due to the fact that the US administration called on the Ukrainian leadership to focus their requests on what they need at the moment. Because Washington has a concern that “requests for expensive weapons are distracting Kyiv from more pressing needs on the battlefield.”
The fears of the American side, explains Politico, are connected not only with the fact that the supplies “will be provocative for Moscow,” but also with the fact that the complex maintenance of these systems “will put Ukraine in a difficult position.” In addition, as in the case of the Patriot, there is a problem of prioritization, as US allies in NATO and outside the alliance also want these anti-aircraft missile systems. And the “relative shortage” of such systems makes their delivery to Ukraine a “difficult task.”
The question, however, is worth it. True, as the newspaper notes, its discussion in the Pentagon is still at an early stage. And the final decision will be with the president Joe Biden.
At the same time, the newspaper admits that the US Department of Defense will conclude a contract with Raytheon Technologies to create additional air defense systems for Kyiv, instead of transferring the Patriot batteries already in service with the US army. Deliveries of these SAMs will be considered “less escalatory”.
Regarding fourth-generation F-16 fighters, a Politico source in Congress, in turn, said that, most likely, they would be delivered to Kyiv. But only after the end of the conflict. As for the “Gray Eagles” – reconnaissance and strike unmanned aerial vehicles MQ-1C Gray Eagle, nothing is said about them in the article.
Meanwhile, back in the summer, Reuters reported that the Biden administration intends to sell four MQ-1C Gray Eagle UAVs manufactured by General Atomics, equipped with Hellfire missiles, to Kyiv. True, then the Americans themselves canceled the deal due to fears that this equipment could end up in the hands of the Russian military.
However, that was a few months ago.
Once the same Poroshenko I barely begged the Americans for Javelin anti-tank missile systems, and now we see that the States are raising the stakes over and over again. Now the White House says they are going to support Kyiv “for as long as it takes” to “help them succeed on the battlefield.” And they even develop plans for the supply of weapons for years to come.
And given that in their hatred for us, many have already lost their heads there, such as, for example, Congressman Paul Massarowho calls for the destruction of Russia, there is no complete certainty that they will be ashamed of something.
To comment on how the “behind-the-scenes” negotiations between Kyiv and Washington could end, “SP” asked Vice-President of the Russian Academy of Missile and Artillery Troops, Captain First Rank Konstantin Sivkov:
– Let me remind you that the Americans, in fact, did not even supply Patriot complexes to Turkey – their NATO partner, because they believed that there was a risk that they would fall into our hands. Therefore, I doubt that they will make an exception for Ukraine.
Here F-16 fighters can deliver. But in this case, the question of training the flight crew arises. The fact is that training a fighter pilot is a much more difficult task than training, for example, tank crews or artillery systems crews.
Therefore, if the Americans go for it – i.e. if they hand over their fighter jets to Kyiv, then most likely there will be no talk of Ukrainian pilots flying them. Americans will fly – under the guise of Ukrainians, with Ukrainian identification marks. So they can safely fly there and fight. That is, to directly take part in hostilities against our army. This is real.
As for the Patriot air defense systems, while the situation at the front is unstable, they are unlikely to supply these systems to Ukraine. They are now promising to transfer two systems of Norwegian NASAMS air defense systems to them. They don’t give theirs. Because they understand very well: if at least one of their “patriots” is captured, then it will not be difficult for our specialists to calculate all the modes of his work. And they want to keep it a secret in order to ensure the surprise of use, and to make it difficult for Russia to create electronic warfare to combat these complexes.
“SP”: – How serious are these Norwegian NASAMS weapons?
– Pretty serious. In fact, this is a short and medium-range air defense system. The target engagement range, depending on the missiles used, is from 20 to 180 km. In height – up to 21 km.
But while we do not know how it works in combat mode, therefore, certain of these NASAMS, of course, can cause trouble. But, on the other hand, when we are preparing our aviation to conduct combat operations against all these Western systems, we are setting up our electronic warfare, which ensures the suppression of these stations. And we have anti-radar missiles to destroy enemy radars. So there is nothing special here.
Since the beginning of the special military operation, we have destroyed more than two and a half hundred anti-aircraft missile systems that were in service with Ukraine. If a couple of Norwegians appear there, then we will destroy them too.
Ukraine is a kind of NATO training ground. During the attack on the Kharkov region, several thousand fighters marched in the first echelon – all Western mercenaries. Moreover, most of them were not just mercenaries, but fighters from private military companies. These are trained professionals. It is due to this that they managed to break through the defense.
At present, the personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine who started hostilities and had good motivation and training are practically destroyed. There, maybe a hundred remained from the group that was. Therefore, now the NATO forces, of course, are beginning to send their troops into battle.
So far, under the guise of irregular formations, in the form of PMCs. But the time is not far off when they will directly get involved in this war, everyone should clearly understand this.
Associate Professor of the Department of International Security, Faculty of World Politics, Lomonosov Moscow State University M.V. Lomonosov, Doctor of Political Sciences Alexei Fenenkoin turn, he clarified that negotiations on the supply of Patriot air defense systems, F-16 aircraft and Gray Eagle drones have been underway since at least the end of February:
“I don’t see anything new in this. And whether they appear or not, it depends only on us. From no one else. Because in the American mindset, if you don’t use violence and force, then you are weak.
Here the Americans, since the end of March, believe that we are weak. Since we do not bomb Ukrainian cities, do not bomb their railways and infrastructure, they believe that we are “a weak nation and a weak country” and they can put more pressure on us.
Second. The Americans believe that as soon as Russia retreats, having superiority in the air, it means that it does not have the political will to continue the conduct of hostilities. Why not then supply weapons to Ukraine if it has the political will and is ready to fight.
“SP”: – But we, in the person of Maria Zakharova – the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry – seem to have warned the United States that they are becoming parties to the conflict, and Moscow will not leave this unanswered. Didn’t you hear?
Americans don’t believe in it. The Americans believe that if we tolerate the shelling of our territory, if we tolerate the shelling of Valuyek and do not retaliate, then, accordingly, all these promises of ours are nothing more than a threat and pure diplomacy.
In the American mindset, people are not equal. We wondered why the Americans, by storming the cities of Iraq, wiped them off the face of the earth. Yes, because they erased that in their thinking, the “white man” punishes the “savage” in this way, and “the savage must remember for centuries who he dared to contact.” With the United States itself – the masters of the world!
They expected us to act in the same way in Ukraine. Because we don’t act like that, they see us as weak.
In American thinking, either you didn’t have to start, or, if you already started, it’s worth hitting the enemy so that you remember. Moreover, they believe that Ukraine is much weaker than Russia. These are incomparable values.
Well, if you lose to some third-rate power, having superiority in the air, then what is there to talk about at all – such is their logic.