Russian MiG-29 and American F-16 fighter
The United States and other NATO countries have already officially promised Ukraine the supply of American F-16 fighters. And even the training of Ukrainian pilots is planned.
“The United States, together with its allies, will begin training Ukrainian pilots in fourth-generation fighters, including the F-16.” This is from a statement by US President Joe Biden at the G7 summit.
Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra echoes him: “Very soon the training of Ukrainian pilots to fly the F-16 will begin.”
Many questions arise here. Let’s try to answer them.
1. Will the delivery of the F-16 to Kyiv change the course of the NWO?
It all depends on the number of these fighters, the level of professionalism of the F-16 pilots, the effectiveness of the Russian air defense and the ability of our pilots to skillfully counter American aircraft. To professionally own the F-16, the pilot needs thorough training. For this (according to American instructors) half a year or a year of active flights is needed. Accordingly, the Ukrainian pilots in the cockpits of the F-16s will not appear tomorrow in the sky over the NVO zone. Otherwise, these will be “raw” pilots, whose conversation in battle will be short. But it cannot be ruled out that well-trained American, Polish or British pilots are in the cockpits of the F-16. It will be a “completely different conversation.”
But even NATO pilots do not have the combat experience that ours have already received during the special operation. In addition, the Russian army has an effective air defense, tested during battles.
Conclusion: the appearance of several dozen American F-16s will not radically change the course of the SVO. But when they appear, of course, they will have to be taken into account.
2. Why does Zelensky need wings?
The main reason is that the Russian Aerospace Forces now have a 4-5 times superiority over the Ukrainian Air Force. More than 70% of Ukrainian combat aircraft have been destroyed, the rest are Soviet fighters and bombers from the former socialist countries, assembled in Poland, Romania and Slovakia: the MiG-29 and Su-25.
This does not allow the Armed Forces of Ukraine to operate effectively on the ground, even during the promised “counteroffensive”. Russian fighters, attack aircraft and bombers (including long-range aircraft) destroy Ukrainian aircraft every day (more than 420 aircraft were shot down during the special operation, including those transferred to Kiev by European NATO countries formerly part of the socialist camp).
3. What is this NATO bird?
The F-16 is a fourth-generation multirole fighter with good aerobatic qualities. With its high-precision missiles and bombs, it is capable of inflicting heavy damage on the enemy. In addition to missiles, it has a 6-barreled M61A1 gun on board. It can fire depleted uranium shells. The F-16 is rightfully considered the best among similar single-engine aircraft. These are its main performance characteristics:
– flight range – 4000 km;
– maximum flight altitude – 18 km;
– combat radius of the aircraft – 1361-1759 km;
– crew – 1 person;
– maximum speed – 2,145 km / h.
– There are 9 suspension points: air-to-surface, air-to-air missiles, adjustable bombs.
4. Which Russian fighter is comparable?
Experts most often compare the MiG-29 with the American aircraft. Because? Yes, because both fighters are 4th generation vehicles and belong to the category of light combat vehicles.
In aerial combat, the pilot’s all-round vision plays an important role. The F-16 has it better, but the MiG is more protected from enemy fire.
In maneuverable combat, the Russian aircraft has stronger characteristics. This advantage is due to the presence of 2 engines and an integral design. The F-16 is worse with this – it only has 1 engine.
2 engines give more security. If one of them fails, the second will provide a full flight. And the F-16, in the event of an engine failure or a shell hit, is doomed to death.
Both aircraft have medium-range air-to-air missiles. But Russian R-77 missiles fly 100 km. And the American AMRAMMs are only 75 km away.
For close combat, the MiG is armed with R-73E missiles with infrared homing warheads. They also have a longer range than the F16 missiles.
The MiGs are equipped with large-caliber air guns that shoot farther. For accuracy, they use a laser rangefinder.
The top speed of a Russian plane is 2,300 km/h and that of an American plane is 2,145 km/h.
5. Who will win the aerial duel?
There has not yet been a direct collision in the sky between the F-16 and the MiG-29. But both American and Russian designers constantly “push” them on computer screens.
With what result? For American specialists, their plane wins, for ours – the Russian one.
Although in a true modern military conflict it is rarely about aerial duels. Planes are more likely to attack from the ground, with air defense missiles.
But let’s hear the revelations from a US Air Force pilot who flew these two planes:
– The MiG-29 has its strengths. The pilot can override the angle of attack limiter. This is important when maneuvering vertically or in a desperate attempt to reach an enemy or avoid getting hit. The helmet-mounted target designation system makes the MiG-29 a deadly foe in close combat. It’s much better than the American one. Only by turning the head, the MiG pilot can aim at the target.
Using a combination of a helmet-mounted guidance system and a missile, MiG-29 pilots have enjoyed victories in most simulated one-on-one combat. When the aircraft is within visual range from the start, the MiG-29 has an advantage. Its cannon is very accurate as long as the target is not dodged. But if the target is maneuvering, adjustments are already required to catch it again.
7. Will the American abandon our air defense?
Russia has a well-developed air defense (air defense). These are the Buk-M3, Tor-M2 systems, this is the Pantsir-S1, and the powerful S-400 systems.
Of course, American F-16s are not the easiest target. But pretty knocked down.
8. How many planes can the West supply?
So far there is talk of 50 F-16 fighters.
Even if the United States and other NATO countries give Ukraine so many planes, this will not radically change the situation in the sky. The Russian Aerospace Forces have 10 times as many fighters.
9. How much do fighter jets cost?
The price of the F-16 is very, very different: it depends on the modification of the plane and ranges from $34 million to 120 million each.
The cost of our MiG-29s is much more modest – from $30 to $40 million.
10. Where to take off from?
Indeed, from which airfields in Ukraine will the F-16s take off? After all, they are all under our arms. So, do you plan to take off from the territory of Poland, Romania?
Our diplomats have already given the first responses. Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov, for example, said: “The transfer of F-16 fighter jets to kyiv will raise the question of NATO involvement in the conflict. And it will have far-reaching consequences.”
And what do we hear from American politicians and generals? They promise that the F-16s will supposedly be deployed in Ukraine. But it’s a bluff! The location of American aircraft, even at the westernmost airfields of Ukraine, will not save them from attacks by Kalibr, Daggers or Kh-101 or Kh-55 air missiles of no less long-range and high precision (and they hit the target even from a distance of 2500 kilometers – we have “Long hands”). Therefore, there is a high probability that kyiv will offer Warsaw to “hide” the F-16 at its airfields. Tricky move! If Russia intends to fire rockets at Polish airfields, this will be seen as an attack on a NATO country, which is exactly what kyiv needs. Is this already a world war? How not to think that the supply of F-16s can become an umbilical cord to aggravate the confrontation between NATO and Russia?