Russia Pummels Ukrainian Airfields Set To House Western-Supplied F16 Jets

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Friday, Jun 28, 2024 - 07:30 AM

Widespread international media reports previously indicated that the first deliveries of US-made F-16 jets to Ukraine from European partners would begin at some point this summer. The hold-up has been in large part due to the significant time it takes for Ukrainian pilots to be properly trained on the advanced aircraft, given they are used to Soviet era planes such as the Soviet MiG-29, and they are about to be thrust into aerial combat in new equipment.

Russia is not waiting around for the NATO planes to arrive, but is apparently taking preemptive action, with the defense ministry (MoD) announcing Thursday its forces have struck airbases in Ukraine which were set up to house Western-supplied jets.

Illustrative image: In 2022 Chuhuiv Airbase was hit by Russian missiles. via Planet Labs

The MoD said it used long-range sea-based weapons to attack "airfield infrastructure of Ukraine, planned to accommodate aircraft from Western countries," according to state media. This included the use of Kinzhal hypersonic missiles alongside drones, the statement indicated.

"The goal of the strike has been achieved. All designated targets have been hit," the MoD added without specifying the number of locations hit.

Back in March, President Vladimir Putin said during an address to pilots, "We will destroy their warplanes just as we destroy their tanks, armored vehicles and other equipment, including multiple rocket launchers."

Putin at the time also warned against jets using NATO airfields from which to operate in Ukraine. He said, "Of course, if they are used from airfields of third countries, they become a legitimate target for us, wherever they are located."

Interestingly, Western media has already bluntly admitted the following: "But US officials have privately said the jets will not be a game changer when they eventually arrive after months of training, given the strength of the Russian air force and its defense systems."

So essentially, aircraft worth multiple tens of millions of dollars each are being primed to get shot down in what will likely prove a major humiliation for the West. 

And already, before the jets arrive in Ukraine, Moscow is priming the battle space, ready to target these F-16s and and the ground infrastructure supporting them. The Kremlin has recently highlighted that the F-16 is technically capable of carrying tactical nuclear weapons, and so will treat them according to the threat level.