NATO countries plan to deliver dozens of F-16 Fighting Falcon fourth-generation fighter jets to Ukraine starting next year.

Plans to train Ukrainian pilots in the US and Denmark have also begun in recent weeks. Western media said that the F-16 will be a strategic card to help change the battlefield situation in Ukraine. Of course Russia also has plans to deal with these fighters. With an age of more than 40 years, the F-16s that the West provides aid to Ukraine will become the top target for Russia’s modern electronic warfare systems.

According to Sputnik news agency, the Russian military is optimizing its electronic warfare systems to deal with F-16 aircraft, which Western countries are expected to transfer to Ukraine in early 2024. The source said: “Russian electronic warfare systems used in the special military operation zone will received optimized settings to suppress radars and onboard equipment of NATO F-16 fighters which Western countries plan to supply to Kiev.”

The source added, “Based on what we know about the onboard avionics of NATO frontline fighters Kiev will be getting, it will be easier to suppress them than the Soviet-designed aircraft in Ukraine’s inventory.” Last month, Sputnik also reported that Russian electronic warfare systems succeeded in forcing Ukrainian combat aircraft to prematurely abandon their combat missions and return to base due to jamming by systems including the Krasukha mobile, ground-based electronic warfare system.

Three countries agreed to send F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, including Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway. It is expected that the Ukrainian air force will receive a total of 71 of these fighters, as early as 2024. Training of Ukrainian pilots has also begun in both Denmark and the US in August-September 2023. Commander of US Air Forces in Europe, General James B. Heckler, has warned that training Ukrainian pilots to become proficient in flying could take at least “four or five years,” meaning that even after the F-16s arrive, they might “help a little bit,” but won’t be a “silver bullet.”

Since the beginning of the conflict, the Ukrainian air force has suffered heavy losses. According to the Russian military’s assessment, more than 470 fixed-wing aircraft and nearly 250 helicopters from the Soviet era and from Eastern European countries in NATO transferred to Kiev were shot down. The scale of the conflict in Ukraine is increasing, Russia’s air defense and electronic warfare systems have quickly adapted to the newest and most modern weapons systems of Western aid to Ukraine, including advanced strike drones and long-range cruise missiles.

Russia has long been considered a leading power in electronic warfare. Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuri Inhat said that the reason Ukraine was slow to counterattack was that Russia had a significant advantage in electronic warfare. Electronic warfare weapons are often called “invisible assassins” because they are military devices that use electromagnetic energy to attack or disrupt the operations of opponents. It can disable any device that uses electricity and can be carried out from the ground, in the air, on land, at sea and in space without the use of explosives or direct attacks.

Russia is said to be deploying electronic warfare complexes on the Ukrainian battlefield such as Krasukha-2, Krasukha-4, RB-341V LEER-3, R-330Zh Zhitel, Murmansk-BN and Moskva-1. These electronic warfare complexes can jam radar satellite positioning signals and radio communications at different frequencies.

According to Defensenews, in addition to the F-16, it is likely that Ukraine will receive more AGM-88s and Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), no other public disclosures of F-16 munitions have been announced. NATO’s most capable long-range, air-to-air missiles (AAMs) are the U.S. AIM-120D and the U.K. Meteor. These are necessary to overcome Russia’s long range AAMs.

Latest situation on the battlefield, According to Reuters, General Oleksandr Syrsky, commander of Ukraine’s ground forces, said on October 14 that the fighting situation along the northern part of the eastern front is deteriorating with Ukrainian forces. General Syrsky said Russia is carrying out dozens of attacks every day, but the Ukrainian army is ready and is holding its position.

According to updates from AFP news agency from Ukrainian officials, fighting is extremely intense around the city of Avdiivka in the eastern province of Donetsk. On October 13, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzia announced: “In the past few days, the Russian army has switched to active combat operations on practically the entire front line. Therefore, the so-called Ukraine’s counteroffensive can be considered over.” He said Ukraine’s four-month counterattack only resulted in hundreds of Western equipment being destroyed and thousands of soldiers killed. Ukraine has not commented on these statements.

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