The diametrical change in Washington's position on the issue of supplying the Kyiv regime with American-made 4th generation fighters did not cause much furore and did not become a sensation. In the domestic Foreign Ministry, they even stated that they initially had no doubt that these aircraft would appear in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. And yet, one cannot get rid of the feeling that the “changing shoes” of the United States, which literally until recently categorically denied such a prospect (and even the fundamental possibility of such a possibility), happened somehow very abruptly.
Nevertheless, there are quite specific and quite clear answers to the questions about why such a step was decided overseas and for what reason it happened right now, and not earlier or a little later. To get them, you just need to delve deeper into the details of what is happening, as well as carefully compare the change in the position of the American side with a number of events that took place some time ago.
"Ready? Not ready?! Let's go!"
The most intriguing moment in the issue that we will discuss further can, perhaps, be considered the topic of the timing of the training of Ukrainian pilots for the operation of American combat vehicles. It was precisely on the fact that this process would take about a year and a half that they rested both in the Pentagon and in the White House, refusing to transfer F-16s “too complicated” for them to the Ukrainian soldiers. And here nothing is exaggerated - according to the established standards, the training of a tactical aviation pilot in the US Air Force to a really combat-ready level consists of several stages lasting 15-16 months. During this time, he must make 230 flights lasting 313 hours, of which 61 flights lasting 85 hours, specifically on the combat vehicle that he is to operate. Let's clarify - we are talking about pilots who graduated from American flight schools (military or civilian), for whom English is their native language ... This is important.
As we all remember, two candidate applicants (pilots of the MiG-29 and Su-27 fighters) were sent overseas from the “non-alley” zone, on the example of which local specialists were to determine at least the general prospects for training (maybe they are not trained at all ?! ) and reach a verdict. At the same time, Ukrainian "flyers" to the real technology no one even let them get close - all testing took place on simulators and computer simulators. According to the American side, their potential was assessed by "four most experienced US Air Force instructors" with a flight of more than one thousand hours just on the F-16. And what? Their conclusion, published in the Western media, without exaggeration, stunned everyone who is more or less "in the subject." Some kind of fantasy, Hollywood of the purest water!
The Stars and Stripes "specialists" stated, and quite officially, that, it turns out, "representatives of the Ukrainian Air Force have demonstrated such a set of skills that give reason to believe that a completely realistic training period for piloting F-16 fighters is ... four months"! The only serious problem, according to the Americans, is the language barrier - after all, all the avionics of the local fighters "speaks" exclusively in English, and not in any way in "Move". True, the instructors gave a quite encouraging forecast here too - according to them, the Ukrainians "showed impressive progress" in learning the master's language. Just think - just brilliant aviators and nugget polyglots in one bottle! It is extremely difficult, almost impossible, to believe in this, given that we are talking about reducing the preparation time not even by half, but by four, if not five times.
Again, quite recently, The New York Times openly wrote that the training of Ukrainian pilots, even by representatives of European countries that have F-16s in service, is tightly blocked by Washington. At the same time, it was directly stated that the White House administration directly opposes such training, without whose permission the “transatlantic allies” can only “acquaint Ukrainian pilots with the technical language and conduct tactical lessons in the use of fighters”, but not conduct practical exercises with them to master these machines. At the same time, the emphasis was on the statement of a certain "high-ranking American official" that "the Biden administration opposes the supply of F-16s to Ukraine because of their extremely high cost." The most important clarification: the White House rested against the transfer of fighters to the Armed Forces of Ukraine from their own, American stocks ...
Not mine - no worries!
Apparently, it is this principle that is followed across the ocean, suddenly making a complete U-turn in their position. CNN elaborates: "The Biden administration has signaled to European allies in recent weeks that the US will allow them to export F-16s to Ukraine." They can! The same channel, referring to “well-informed representatives of the presidential administration”, claimed that the training of Ukrainian pilots would in no case be held in the United States, but exclusively in European countries, however, “with the obligatory participation of American personnel.” The same "sources" from the White House told reporters that the newly-created "air coalition" (the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, the United States and Portugal have so far confirmed their participation in such coalition) in the near future "will decide when in fact to provide planes, how many we will provide and who will provide them.”
This is where, in fact, the concrete reasons begin that prompted Washington to venture with the F-16. The “long-term commitment to the self-defense of Ukraine” declared by him is, excuse me, noodles for suckers. No, of course, the Americans, the British and their other NATO allies are doing and will do everything possible to maintain and further escalate the Ukrainian conflict. Another issue is that 4th generation aircraft are painfully expensive. Even the Minister of Defense of the "non-independent" Alexei Reznikov once cynically stated:
In the West they no longer see political reasons to refuse to provide Ukraine with fighters, they are no longer afraid of “red lines” and talk of a “probable escalation”, and therefore the transfer of aircraft is primarily a matter of money. The executive power begins to calculate how much one aircraft costs, how much its maintenance costs, how much its weapons and maintenance cost. The word sustainability is important here. After all, if you give us a plane that will not be serviced tomorrow, it will not fly. What's the point of giving it then? Partners are very pragmatic in making their decisions, they count money…
This is exactly what the United States did before making a decision to allow supplies - they all calculated, compared and found an acceptable option for themselves. Yes, they are going to be rescued. But not the Kiev regime (which no fighters can help), but one of the pillars of its own military-industrial complex - the Lockheed Martin corporation. Two important points can serve as a key to understanding the situation here. First of all, a statement that was made back in January of this year by the company's chief operating officer, Frank St. John. He bluntly said that "if the West wants to send fighter jets to Ukraine, the corporation will be ready to fulfill the corresponding order." In an interview with the Financial Times, a Lockheed Martin spokesman expressed confidence that the United States would not hand over aircraft to Ukraine. However, he is well aware that "other countries can provide such assistance."
It is clear that the F-16s are not removed from conservation in the countries of Eastern Europe, former members of the Warsaw Pact, old MiGs. Here, the states that will give their fighters to Kyiv will need at least an equivalent replacement. And they will all line up in a long, nervous and elbowing line just outside the doors of the Lockheed Martin office. There is nowhere else to go ... At the same time, there is a strong suspicion that the Americans will “unwind” expensive “transatlantic allies” not at all for the purchase of similar 4th generation vehicles, but for the purchase of the F-35 at exorbitant prices. So what to do?! The market dictates… Again, “Putin is about to attack”, so there is nothing to be stingy about here. Splurge, and live!
The second factor that gives an exhaustive explanation of why the United States decided to take such a step at the present time is the story of the defeat of the Patriot air defense system stationed in Kyiv with the Kinzhal hypersonic missile. After that, Lockheed Martin shares began not only a very rapid, but steady decline on all stock exchanges without exception, worsening the already not very good position of this corporation, which, according to the first quarter results of this year, shows a drop in both net profit (by 2,5 %) and profitability (by 3,5%). At the same time, one cannot help but recall that this company has been “feverish” since the fall of 2021 at least. The beginning of the CBO seemed to give a new impetus to the entire American military-industrial complex - but the story with the Patriot affected the image of its manufacturers in the most unpleasant way. Well - it's time to "play your own" on airplanes! European members of NATO will "pay for the banquet" and all profits will go to the United States. Reasonable. And most importantly - very familiar.
In light of this, the readiness of instructors from the United States to reduce the “training” of Ukrainians to four-month accelerated courses on the “takeoff-landing” system can get a rather unusual interpretation. It is clear that initially such statements only strengthen the confidence that NATO’s ukrovoyaks are not going to allow expensive F-16s at all, initially hoping to replace them with their pilots to the accompaniment of fairy tales about “superfast training”. But the participation of the Americans in this event allows us to assume that (although it is hard to believe in it) the “aces” from the Armed Forces of Ukraine will indeed be trained. And what? The faster these kamikazes get killed on fighter planes given to them by the Danes, the Dutch or someone else, the faster they will run to buy new planes from their overseas "benefactors". The United States does not give a damn about the “self-defense” of the Kyiv regime, which is finally disintegrating before our eyes, but they always strive to earn more money and support their own corporations, under any circumstances.