The company is going to increase the production of F-16 aircraft in order to support countries that will provide their fighters to Ukraine.
The company that produces American F-16 fighters is ready to supply aircraft to European countries, which will transfer their fighters to Ukraine.
According to the Financial Times, Lockheed Martin COO Frank St. John said there is a lot of talk about the transfer of F-16 fighters to third parties, that is, about other countries re-exporting American fighters to Ukraine to protect its airspace. He added that his company is not directly involved in the negotiations, but “is going to increase the production of F-16 aircraft in Greenville, South Carolina, to reach a level where we can effectively support any countries that decide to transfer aircraft to third parties. to help resolve the current conflict.”
According to the newspaper, the White House rejected the request of Ukraine to provide modern F-16 fighters. This was due to the fear that the planes could be used to launch strikes against Russian territory.
First, the US government must approve the sale or transfer of American-made fighter jets to third countries. Then European countries will need political support from the Biden administration.
At the same time, one of the representatives of the US defense department said that “so far there is nothing to announce regarding the F-16 fighters.”
But in Europe, they believe that the re-export of F-16 aircraft directly to Ukraine by the EU member states is one of the possible options. In addition, American fighter jets could be sent by Western states to former Warsaw Pact countries, after which they could send their Soviet-designed aircraft to Ukraine.
Aircraft for Ukraine: latest news
Slovakia is ready to discuss the transfer of its MiG-29 fighters to Ukraine. Slovak Defense Minister Yaroslav Nagy said that the planes are now at one of the bases in Slovakia, and “now we are ready to discuss the transfer of these planes to Ukraine.”
At the same time, the speaker of the command of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Yuriy Ignat, said that it is already known in fact what type of aircraft Ukraine will receive from international partners and what are the terms for training personnel. He noted that the issue of supplying aircraft is constantly raised by the top military leadership of Ukraine and the leadership of the Ministry of Defense.