Live Updates: Russia’s War in Ukraine
Ukrainian Air Force added more about 20 more planes in operation according to a senior US defense official.
Although the official did not specify which countries supplied the plane parts, the official said Wednesday that the US and other countries have been working “to obtain the necessary parts to bring the aircraft to the market.” They go up into the air.”
The flow of spare parts has allowed Ukraine to expand its fleet of active military aircraft, despite the continued aggression of Russia. They have more planes now than they did three weeks ago, the official said.
Earlier in the day, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said Ukraine had received more fighter jets to add to its existing fleet.
But on Wednesday, a senior defense official replied that Ukraine had not received any more aircraft, but had in fact received aircraft parts to make its existing planes work properly. than.
However, the official said at least one country is considering sending more planes to Ukraine.
“I am supposed to understand that an offer from another country has indeed taken effect,” the official said. “That offer was not taken, so I was ahead of anything practical.” It is unknown which country has made such an offer.
The US has committed to sending Ukraine 16 Mi-17 helicopters, but the administration has refused to participate in the transfer of Mig-29s from another country to Ukraine via the US.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly asked other countries to equip Mig-29 Fulcrum fighters from the Soviet era, which Ukrainian pilots already know how to fly.
Zelensky has asked other Eastern European countries with fourth-generation airframes to send them to Ukraine, but no country has yet agreed.
On Wednesday, the official Twitter account of the Ukrainian Air Force said, “Ukraine has not received new aircraft from its partners! With support from the US Government, @KpsZSU has received spare parts and components for the restoration and repair of aircraft fleets in the Armed Forces, which will allow for more commissioning. ”
The Ukrainian Air Force is part of an air defense network that includes S-300 surface-to-air missiles and mobile air defense missiles. The combination of platforms prevented Russia from establishing air superiority over Ukraine and controlling the skies.
Despite the constant bombardment of Russian rockets and artillery as well as attacks on military bases, the Ukrainian Air Force remained largely intact despite suffering some losses.
In early March, about two weeks after the war, defense officials said Ukraine had 56 fighters, about 80 percent of its fixed-wing fighters. But Ukrainians don’t use their planes much, flying only five to 10 sorties a day, the official said.
CNN’s Ellie Kaufman contributed to this report.