Ukraine Wants Modern Radar, Latest Weapons in F-16s Jets

At the moment, the Russians are flying a plane, launching a guided bomb, and we don't see it: Ukrainian MP
  • Bureau
  • 11:35 AM, November 23, 2023
  • 1491
Ukraine Wants Modern Radar, Latest Weapons in F-16s Jets
Dutch F-16s in Romania, November 2023 @via Ukrainian media

Ukraine has initiated talks with donor countries to modernize some 24 F-16s fighter jets it is expected to receive from Denmark and Netherlands.

The modernization plan involves replacing the radar in the aircraft with a modern one, likely an AESA, as well as incorporating the latest missiles and guided bombs to counter the capabilities of the Russian Army.

Ukrainian MP Oleksandra Ustinova stated in an interview with European Pravda that the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense is in discussions regarding the modernization of fighter jets planned for transfer with the donors.

Ukraine Wants Modern Radar, Latest Weapons in F-16s Jets
F-16 AESA radar @via open sources

"We need more powerful radars and better missiles for them. It makes no sense to just provide us with an aircraft equipped with a 60-kilometer radar, like MiGs have," the MP emphasized. "This is the only way we will be able to detect their (Russian) planes, which are deploying 500-kilogram bombs against our troops on the front line. At the moment, they're flying a plane, launching a guided bomb, and we don't see it."

The MP did not immediately provide details of the negotiations with the partners. However, it is evident that the modernization of the aircraft will necessitate collaboration with the American industry.

According to Ustinova, the new fighter jets can be expected at the earliest by the end of spring. This timeline is influenced by the extensive training period for pilots, with the majority expected to be ready in the first half of 2024.

Theoretically, the time spent on pilot training should be sufficient to modernize some of the aircraft scheduled for transfer to Ukraine.

As part of military aid, Ukraine will receive F-16 Block 20 MLU fighter jets from European partners, modernized in the early 2000s under the Mid-Life Update program. However, the current condition of European fighter jets does not meet current requirements.

Ukraine Wants Modern Radar, Latest Weapons in F-16s Jets
Armed F-16 jet @U.S.A.F.

Proposed modernization for Ukrainian F-16s includes installing a modern AN/APG-83 radar to enhance target detection range, especially for low-altitude and small-sized objects. Additionally, the modernization plan involves adapting the aircraft for the use of American JASSM cruise missiles, advanced AIM-9X air-to-air missiles, and new AIM-120D air-to-air missiles with a range exceeding a hundred kilometers.

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