Why does Ukraine want Swedish fighters even though they are about to be given F-16s?

Why does Ukraine want Swedish fighters even though they are about to be given F-16s? 0

(Dan Tri) – Ukraine continues to call on Sweden to aid Saab JAS 39 fighters, after Western countries pledged to deliver dozens of US-made F-16s to Kiev.

Swedish Gripen fighter (Photo: Wikipedia).

After months of campaigning and calling, Ukraine’s efforts have yielded results.

However, Ukraine has not stopped there.

The Swedish Air Force has about 100 JAS-39C/Ds and is replacing them with at least 60 new JAS-39Es.

According to experts, Gripen has technical properties that are even more suitable for Ukraine in its 18-month war with Russia.

One of the most important reasons is that the Swedish jet has no difficulty operating on roads and does not need a specialized runway like the F-16, according to Forbes.

The ability to take off and land on land addresses one of the biggest weaknesses of modern aircraft: Air bases.

The air base will become the first target of attack when fighting breaks out.

One obvious solution is for planes to switch to using roads and highways, which can act as runways in an emergency.

The Soviet Air Force designed fighters for this tactic.

Su-24, Su-25 and Su-27 aircraft have similar mechanisms.

On February 24, 2022, receiving Western intelligence, Ukraine dispersed its fleet of aircraft manufactured in the former Soviet Union to road and highway areas to avoid being hit by Russian `missile rain`.

Over the past year and a half, although Russia has repeatedly launched fire at Ukrainian air bases, Kiev has still been able to evacuate these aircraft many times and flexibly thanks to their ability to operate on the road.

This is the weakness of the F-16.

For the F-16 to operate at full capacity, this fighter needs a clean, 762m long runway.

In a scenario where Ukraine builds facilities suitable for F-16 operations, Russia may increase airstrikes to destroy them before the bases are completed, Mr. Litovkin said.

Meanwhile, the Gripen has more suitable characteristics than the F-16 to operate on roads and highways.

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