Behind the scenes between Kyiv and Washington negotiations are taking place for F-16 fighter jets, Patriot air defense systems and Gray Eagle drones which are high end state of the art weaponry.
Defense industry executives, Pentagon officials and members of the Ukrainian government are discussing finance deals, according to advisors Politico reports.
Over the past few weeks the counteroffensive has gathered pace and Russia has been launching missiles and rockets in an act of vengeance.
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President Volodymyr Zelensky has been calling for air defences and fighter jets, quietly behind the scenes.
Should the Biden administration quietly send the high end US weaponry to Ukraine this would be a major and strategic turning point in the war.
There are also concerns that the high technology systems could prove difficult to maintain which could be challenging for Ukraine.
Unrestricted climb in F-16 – 0 to 15,000ft in seconds ✈️
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A congressional staffer with knowledge of the negotiations said that the F-16s which are ready for retirement “are likely to arrive after this conflict is over,” they told Politico.
However the US has agreed to finance the sale of the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System, or NASAMS, for Ukraine, but officials warn their capacity to train and put to use both systems at once would be limited.
The staffer who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the talks told Politico, “The NASAMS and Patriot are different systems and you’re training the same air defenders so there’s only so much they can do.
“I think we’ll get there.”
— Δέσποτας Ο ΠΙΛΟΤΟΣ ✈ Ο ΕΚΔΙΚΗΤΗΣ ☠ 🕯 (@JudgeJury7) September 10, 2022
When Ukraine receive the Patriot system this will provide President Zelensky and his forces with a boost protecting their skies.
The Patriot is a defensive weapon which will certainly make Russian pilots to “think twice” before attacking Ukrainian forces.
Tom Karako, a senior fellow with the Center for Strategic and International Studies said, “For it to be used in anger, you’ve got to have a Russian missile or a Russian aircraft that has done the escalating, has come into range.
“I would say it’s deescalatory.”