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Official: Ukraine wants 40-50 F-16 fighter jets
Yuriy Sak, an adviser to Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, has said that Ukraine wants between 40 and 50 F-16 fighter jets, Politico reported on May 16.
According to Sak, President Volodymyr Zelensky is hoping that providing Ukraine with advanced fighter jets will be at the top of the agenda during the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Hiroshima on May 19-21 and the forthcoming NATO summit in Vilnius this July.
Zelensky met with U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on May 16, who said that, although providing Ukraine with fighter jets was "not a straightforward thing," London would be "a key part of the coalition countries" providing Kyiv with that support.
Ukraine has already received 14 Soviet-era MiG-29s from Poland and 13 from Slovakia. However, Ukraine has shown the most interest in the U.S.-built F-16, in service since the 1970s and operated by over 20 nations.
Critics argue that allies' reluctance to supply F-16, Typhoon and Dassault fighter jets and long-range ATACMS missiles to Ukraine will prevent Kyiv from launching a counteroffensive and liberating the rest of Ukrainian territory.
Ukraine’s lack of advanced aircraft and missiles will likely prolong Russia’s war of aggression and result in thousands of deaths.