TechRussian pilots undeterred by F-16 deliveries to Ukraine

Russian pilots undeterred by F‑16 deliveries to Ukraine

Russian pilots on the F-16
Russian pilots on the F-16
Images source: © Licensor
Karolina Modzelewska

8 July 2024 20:31

The Russian Zvezdanews service presented the opinions of Russian Su-30SM fighter pilots regarding the delivery of Western F-16s to Ukraine. The Russians on the "Military Acceptance" programme admitted that they have been studying the features of the F-16 fighters for a long time and have been developing combat tactics against these machines. They emphasized that they know their strengths and weaknesses. One pilot even said: "There will be a new target, who cares. We are even waiting for them to appear."

"We understand perfectly well that Ukrainians will act cunningly, organize ambushes, and commit some malice. But our aircraft surpasses the F-16 in everything - both in manoeuvrability and weaponry. Our targeting system is more advanced and modern. So I think there should be no problems. We have been preparing for a meeting with these aircraft for a long time; we study, and our tactical techniques are already developed. We are ready," said the commander of the Su-30SM fighter pilot group, quoted by Zvezdanews.

F-16s for ukraine

The first Dutch F-16s are expected to arrive in Ukraine soon. In total, the Dutch government has decided to deliver 24 such machines. At a later date, Kyiv will also receive fighters from Belgium, Denmark, and Norway. It is expected that the Ukrainian Air Force will have about 80 F-16 fighters at its disposal, allowing for the creation of about four squadrons. The machines' main tasks will be conducting air-to-air and air-to-ground operations.

The transfer of Western aircraft to Ukraine is no secret. Kyiv's allies have been announcing it for a long time, so the Russians have had plenty of time to prepare for the arrival of the F-16s. The Russians have had time to bring to eastern Ukraine, among other things, air defence means such as the S-300 and S-400. They have also created attack tables and monitored all airports where Ukrainian aircraft can be based.

Recently, there have been reports of accelerated modernization of some Russian Su-30SM fighters, which are the main opponents of the F-16 in air combat. According to the Russians, these fighters significantly surpass Western fighters in their capabilities. It's worth recalling that the Su-30SM is a modernization of the Su-30, a combat aircraft developed based on the Su-27 and often presented by the Kremlin as an equal opponent of the American F-22 or F-35.

The Su-30SM has been modernized according to current Russian requirements for radars, radio communication systems, identification friend or foe systems, ejection seats, weaponry, and other onboard systems. The fighter is equipped with an N011M Bars radar with a maximum target detection range of up to 400 kilometres. It can carry up to 8,200 kilograms of weaponry, including supersonic cruise missiles. It is also armed with a single-barrel GSh-30-1 automatic cannon of 30 mm calibre.

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