British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunakhas asked his defense minister, Ben Wallace, to study the possibility of sending fighter jets to Ukrainereported today an official spokesman for Downing Street, who stressed that it would be a “long-term” option.
On the day that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visits the UK, Sunak has announced that he will expand the training program the country offers kyiv forces to include the handling of military aircraft.
London, however, “has not yet made a decision” on sending its own fightersdetailed the Downing Street spokesman, who said last week that “it would not be practical” to offer “extremely sophisticated” aircraft such as the F-35 and Typhoon used by the British Air Force (RAF) due to the time it would cost to train the Ukrainian pilots to use them.
Now, however, the Ministry of Defense is “actively” considering the option to send aircraft, explained the Sunak spokesman, who at the same time warned that Ukraine needs other options “in the short term” to deal with the invasion of Russia.
That same source assured that the training of a pilot for next-generation fighters can last five years and ruled out that London could send Typhoon planes to kyivthe most advanced that it has, as requested by former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
“We are willing to do everything we can to train these pilots as quickly as possible, but we are talking about complex military material. As you know, the current training period for British pilots is five years.the Downing Street spokesman said.
During a speech at the Palace of Westminster, Zelensky delivered a fighter pilot helmet today to the Speaker of the House of Commons, Lindsay Hoyle, and reiterated his call for military aircraft to defeat Russian forces.
Downing Street made it clear last week that it would not oppose other allies offering up their aircraft, an option the United States and Germany have so far ruled out.
At the start of the war in Ukraine, in March 2022, Poland offered to hand over all its Soviet-built MiG-29 fighters to kyiv, a plan that Washington halted on the grounds that it could escalate the conflict.
Among the options that were then lowered, Warsaw contemplated the possibility of replacing its MiG-29 with American F-16s.
The Dutch Foreign Minister, Wopke Hoekstra, for his part stated two weeks ago that contemplates with an “open mind” the possibility of sending some of the nearly 40 F-16 aircraft to Ukraine with which it counts.
(With information from EFE)
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