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The United States and its allies are considering providing fighter planes to Ukraine to counter Russia

The United States and its allies are considering providing fighter planes to Ukraine to counter Russia


Senior US officials acknowledged Wednesday that the United States and its allies are considering whether to provide Ukraine with new combat aircraft and training to operate them, a move that would significantly expand Western participation in the war with Russia.

General Charles Q. Brown Jr., chief of staff of the US Air Force, said that while he would not speculate on what type of aircraft could be flown, discussions were underway about how to strengthen the Ukrainian fleet, including the new aircraft. Russia has outpaced the Ukrainian air force since the invasion began on February 24, flying frugally a variety of MiGs and other Cold War-era aircraft.

Brown said there are several possibilities, including American-made fighters or some made in Europe. Options include Gripen fighter made in sweden, Rafale Made in France, and Eurofighter Typhoonwhich was built by a group of companies in many countries.

Brown said during his appearance on Aspen Security Forum in Colorado. “But I can’t tell you exactly what it will be like.”

The United States says Russia is seeking to annex eastern and southern Ukraine later this year

The discussion marks a departure from earlier in the war, when The Biden administration has been ruled out Facilitating a deal that would have sent some Polish MiGs to Ukraine in exchange for US-made F-16s. Pentagon officials said in March that such a proposal was not “acceptable” and raised the possibility that participating in the swap could exacerbate tensions. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said European allies have the “green light” to send planes to Ukraine, but the United States wants to avoid direct conflict with Russia.

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Possibility of training Ukrainian pilots to operate new aircraft Already in Congress; The House voted last week to appropriate $100 million for this endeavor as part of its version of the annual defense authorization bill. But so far, Pentagon leaders have refused to endorse such a plan.

“There have been no decisions on any of that,” General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Wednesday during a news conference alongside Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. “But we are looking at a wide range of options, to include pilot training.”

Austin and Milley spoke with reporters after a recent meeting of international military leaders working to bolster Ukraine’s defenses, both for the near term and for what many expect the long-term confrontation with Russia to be. Austin noted that the priority of the Biden administration at the moment remains the artillery war waged by Ukrainian forces in the east of the country.

“Right now, we’re focused on helping them succeed in the fight they’re fighting, and use the weapon systems they need to succeed in that fight,” he said. “As far as predicting where we’ll be with pilot training in months or years, I wouldn’t dare do that.”

Add any modern combat aircraft to the Ukrainian army It would be a huge upgrade. Ukrainian officials, months ago, He sought ways to strengthen the country’s air powerwhich flew moderately during the war and must maneuver around Russian surface-to-air missiles.

brouwn, The discussion is partly about “understanding where Ukraine wants to go and how we meet them wherever they are,” said the commander in chief, the US Air Force.

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