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Air Force: Increased Russian use of gliding bombs highlights need for F-16 jets
Ukraine's Air Force has warned of increasing airstrikes by Russia and renewed the call for allies to supply F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.
Air Force Spokesperson Yurii Ihnat stated that Russian forces are using high-explosive 500 kilogram bombs that have been modified with wings and elementary guidance systems to enable Russian planes to strike from beyond the range of Ukraine's air defenses.
Speaking on national television, Ihnat said that heavier, specially-designed 1,500 bombs are expected to also be used more by Russia in the future, having been already reportedly dropped on targets in Ukraine's northern Chernihiv Oblast in March.
Air Force Lieutenant-General Mykola Oleschuk stressed on the same day that better combat aircraft, in particular the F-16, is needed to counter the threat of munitions like this.
"This will make it possible to drive enemy aircraft away from our borders and the line of combat," Oleshchuk said, "which will minimize the likelihood of using guided aerial bombs and other air-based weapons."
Modern jets are also understood to provide effective support to troops on the front line as well as provide the capability for future counteroffensive.