On the possibilities of American weapons to change the course of the war on the Ukrainian sector of the Western Front
In the West, the idea of turning the Ukrainian war between the West and Russia into a long-term event with an eye to the destruction of the entire Russian world is gaining more and more popularity. Activities are also being developed to prepare the necessary material base for this. Here is what Politico writes:
“Ukraine has stopped publicly requesting high-end weapons from the US, such as Patriot air defense systems, F-16 fighter jets, and Gray Eagle drones. But behind the scenes, the search for weapons that could turn the tide of war continues… In the months following Russia’s full-scale invasion in late February, Ukrainian leaders have been asking for Patriot systems and other advanced technologies, putting them at the top of wish lists sent to Washington… But the most expensive items were excluded from the latest requests for essential armaments, which were limited to requesting more artillery shells and rockets for HIMARS rocket launchers. However, according to three industry sources and people in touch with the Kyiv government, talk of them getting Patriots, F-16s and Gray Eagles at some point in the future continues to be low. “.
We will not go into an assessment of the geopolitical prospects of this old Anglo-Saxon idea, which boils down to the elimination of Russia, for which the Nazi “thousand-year Reich” and the American “end of history” will finally merge. Let’s try to assess the degree of prospects of Western efforts.
So, a new stage in the formation of the American proxy army in Ukraine will be to equip them with US-made combat aircraft and anti-aircraft missile systems. To what extent will these innovations be able to influence the course of the armed struggle? Take the F-16 fighter-bomber. The machine is not new, it was developed back in the 1970s, but it is quite combat-ready. However!
The most modern experience of the combat use of the F-16 is related to military operations in Syria, which are still ongoing. The Israeli Air Force, which is based on aircraft of this type, uses a peculiar tactic during air raids: F-16s do not fly into Syrian airspace at all. They carry out missile attacks on Syrian targets either from the Mediterranean Sea or from the airspace of neighboring Lebanon.
The fact is that the Syrian and Russian air defense systems, primarily the S-300 and S-400 air defense systems, completely control the entire airspace of the SAR, as well as approaches to it within a radius of up to 600 km from the starting positions of the air defense air defense systems. Any F-16 that ventures into this zone will most likely never return to its base. And there have been such cases.
Remains of an Israeli F-16 fighter shot down by Syrian air defense in the Golan Heights in February 2018
Up to 70% of air-to-ground missiles launched from Israeli aircraft are detected by air defense systems and destroyed on approach to the target. And for several years we have not heard anything about any significant success of the Israeli Air Force in the fight against Syria.
There is no reason why the combat use of the F-16 in Ukraine will be more successful than in the Syrian case. Rather the opposite.
Moreover, Israel, at least, has an excellent airfield base near the SAR, which has everything necessary for the maintenance of this type of aircraft. There is none of this in Ukraine, and creating something similar is expensive and risky, such bases will immediately become targets of Russian missile strikes. As for the option of combat use of the F-16 and any other Western aircraft directly from NATO airfields in Europe, this is just another way to involve NATO in a direct military confrontation with the Russian Federation. Then why fence the garden, if the outcome will be the same – the third world war?
As for the Patriot air defense systems, which are allegedly also being considered for delivery to Ukraine, this anti-aircraft missile system is a kind of thing in itself. The only thing that is reliably known about him is his monstrous high cost. The talk of the town was the case when the United States tried to sell Poland 2 divisions of this complex for $ 10 billion. The Poles staged a grandiose scene on this occasion, and the Yankees immediately cut the price of the sale by half – up to 5 billion “green”. And still, this is five times more expensive than the more effective Russian S-400 Triumph air defense system.
And the combat capabilities of the “Patriots” were a surprise even for its owners. During the war of the Arabian coalition against the Yemeni Houthis, it turned out that the Patriots could barely cope with the interception of 50% of the oldest Soviet ballistic missiles of the 1960s, Scud. It got to the point that when Iranian troops launched a massive missile attack on American military bases in Iran in January 2020, the Patriot air defense systems were not even involved in repelling it. Apparently, after the Houthi lesson and the defeat of the Arabian oil refineries, the American generals did not want to once again engage in anti-advertising of their military equipment.
When the Patriots are powerless. All that remains of the US military base in Iraq after the arrival of an Iranian missile, January 2020
As for the possible use of these air defense systems in Ukraine, they will have to deal here, including with Russian hypersonic missiles.
Preparing for a sortie of a MiG-31K fighter-bomber equipped with the Kinzhal hypersonic missile.
It is unlikely that the Patriots will be too tough for the Russian Iskander operational-tactical systems, the missiles of which, unlike the straightforward Scuds, maneuver on the flight path to the target.
So the idea of equipping the Armed Forces of Ukraine with such weapons systems as the F-16 fighter-bomber and the Patriot air defense system, which is being discussed in the West, is far from being realized. Especially in terms of the ability of these weapons to change the course of the war on the Ukrainian sector of the Western anti-Russian front.
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