UK says ‘not practical’ to give Ukraine British fighter jets – POLITICO
LONDON. The British government has so far ruled out sending fighter jets to Ukraine.
Kyiv has increased its requests for aircraft in recent days after European allies agreed to supply battle tanks to help fight Russian forces.
But Prime Minister Rishi Sunaka’s spokesman told reporters on Tuesday that Britain’s F35 fighters are “extremely complex and take months to learn to fly.”
And he added: “Given this, we consider it inappropriate to send these planes to Ukraine. Obviously, we will continue to provide and accelerate our military support to Ukraine and listen carefully to their requests.”
Asked if the UK could do anything to get the F35 ready for use by Ukraine more quickly or encourage other countries to supply Kyiv with fighter jets, the spokesman said “it takes a long time to learn how to use something that is very difficult.” pieces of equipment, which is the limiting factor in this case.”
“But we will explore what else we can do to support Ukraine,” they added. “It’s just an opinion that it’s not practical to send fighter jets at this time.”
The decision comes just hours after US President Joe Biden appeared to rule out that his own country is currently supplying Ukraine with its F-16 fighter jets.
France said it was considering Ukraine’s request to train fighter pilots, but while President Emmanuel Macron said “nothing is ruled out in principle” when it comes to supporting Ukraine, he warned that any fresh aid “should not be an escalation” .