Hello everybody! The manuscript for my next book is ‘in the box’, so have my mind ‘free’ to get back to this war – at least for few hours. Today, I would like to thank you all for the patience with me - and that in form of addressing few ‘selected’ (or ‘particularly good’) questions asked over the last week ‘or so’, here on the Sarcastosaur.
Thank you Tom, sobering but very helpful!
Спасибо за работу, Том.
Probably a dumb question but would Ukraine put Western artillery on Hill166.
If so would the rail line east of Tokmak be in range and would they have enough down hill visibility to target trains?
I guess the main reason they are trying to get F16s is that they are running out of their Soviet aircrafts. Something better than nothing, even if only for chasing Shaheds
Thank’s for this, Tom. Your F16 explanation is kind of depressing. Oh for a fleet of F35’s.......
If I am not mistaken, the Belgium and Netherlands F-16 went through an MLU (mid-life upgrade) program, which has substantially upgraded their electronics and radar, almost to Block 50 level.
As for the airframes, it's a matter of maintenance if these can keep up operating.
Any thoughts on the Gripen buzz though? Some entertain the idea that Sweden is waiting to officially join Nato to give the green light, but seems hard to believe Ukraine could receive any meaningful numbers in the short or mid term. Would even 10 of them make a difference?
Are all F-16 that have been pledged of the same type? I recall reading that another A2A missile was to be provided with a range around 150km, but I don’t remember the 5 or 6 letter abbreviation.
Thanks for your analysis Tom. Thinking about air war, there are no current planes more capable than the F-16 for Ukraine? Thinking in a low penetration one, like Tornados or F-111. Or Mirage 2000s. If the USA don't wan't yo compromise an F-15E.
Today evidence came up about a Challenger tank destroyed. US Army have lots of stocks of Abrams in the desert. What about M-106s?
Isn't the key the attrition of the Russians? If the Ukrainians are inflicting enough casualties, then the Russians don't have troops to defend all the hedge rows, right?
Thanks Tom, it was a great idea to do a bit of a Q&A instead of a typical report.
1. The West not providing enough... We can all agree to that, so no point in discussing it further. However, what is happening with the top command of the ZSU, meaning Zaluzhny and the Corps/Operational Commands. They knew what they had, they knew what was in front of them, they had all the information. Yet, they still decided to launch the offensive in the South. It is really difficult to see any overarching strategy in how they are prosecuting this war anymore. What are they actually trying to achieve and how? (specifics please, not "liberate territory" or "defeat Russia").
2. My impression is that there is pretty much a consensus among former/active military officers, that the F16s are basically a direct replacement for the current PSU fleet which is simply running out of aircraft. I don't think anyone is arguing, that there will be some sort of a major change in the way they conduct the air war.
Thanks for the report Tom, I found the first part interesting and encouraging but it looks to me there will be no big break thru and racing for the coast, and I'm afraid you pretty much right about the F16s.
F16 maybe old,US probably unwilling to provide best weapons for them etc etc. But one major reason for this delivery exist. Current fleet will worn out sooner then later and even existing capabilities will no longer be there
Thank you. Sobering indeed. As for replacement of planes - it might be not replacement - but addition. Ukraine has very few Su24 left.
BTW - we have not seen long range air strikes for quite some time. Would have any information why?