US Missiles Essential To Ukraine-Russia Confrontation

U.S. anti-radiation munitions helped destroy some of Russia’s most powerful weapons in Ukraine. A Ukrainian military pilot told The Hill that the missiles are part of a complex tactic to oust Kremlin forces from the nation. 

The pilot, who goes by “Juice,” said the Air Force recently used anti-radiation missile systems to subdue Russian air defenses. 

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Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl ascertained their existence in Ukraine for the first time Monday. He said the missiles were included in numerous recent lethal U.S. aid packages and enhanced Ukrainian capabilities. 

Juice said they appreciate it. It’s one of their most advanced weapons, but it’s only part of a larger mission. 

Training

CNN reported the armaments are AGM-88 High-Speed Anti-Radiation Munitions, which can strike targets thirty miles away. 

Kyiv Post reports U.S. anti-radiation missiles destroyed five Russian anti-aircraft infantry systems, four S-300 long-range surface-to-air missile systems, and a Pantsir-S1 ballistic missile. 

Such modern warfare triumphs are key to breaking through strenuous, stagnant battle along a 2,000-kilometer frontline separating Ukraine from the Russian-occupied region in the south and east. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pushed for more international aid. The aid is crucial for Ukraine’s military forces to push Russia back by weakening its supply lines and reducing its resolve to fight before wintertime.

Winter weather could transform the battlefield and geopolitical stage, he says. 

The Pentagon is making preparations to scale up its collaborative effort with Ukraine’s Air Force by training Ukrainian flight crews on sophisticated American fighter jets. 

As Ukrainian troops deploy American-provided High Mobility Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and launch rocket systems to damage and disrupt Russian military supply routes, Juice expects the U.S. will help with the Air Force’s needs. 

Alex Gorgan, a Ukrainian infantry colonel who trains Ukrainian pilots on western aircraft, calls them “priceless.” Gorgan said Ukraine can’t regain Russian-occupied territories without a strong Air Force. 

Gorgan launched the Training Center for Pilots of Advanced Military Aircraft with Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense. 

Gorgan says he got the idea while fighting in eastern Ukraine in March under Russian fire. He said he suddenly realized they needed A-10 Thunderbolt for infantry close air support.

Pilot training is vital to delivering upgraded warplanes, say lawmakers. 

Rep. Adam Kinzinger wants $100 million to educate Ukrainian pilots to use American jets. Interestingly, the Ukrainian government also wants American F-15 and F-16 combat jets. 

Brothers in Arms

Ukrainians view helicopter gunships as critical to a robust defense. Juice suggested Boeing’s AH-64 Apache helicopters, but conceded it’s unlikely. They would resolve for the Bell AH-1 SuperCobra or Bell AH-1Z Viper. 

Since the invasion began, Juice said, the U.S. Air Force provided advice and friendship to the Ukrainian Air Force. 

He said the pilots consider each other as “brothers in arms,” alluding to a 2018 training mishap that killed a Ukrainian and an American pilot. 

The U.S. Air Force became actual comrades in arms for them, with blood on their land, he said, adding the 2018 drill was vital in their training.  

It was planned to prepare against a full-scale Russian attack — four years after Moscow invaded Ukraine’s east and the Crimean Peninsula. 

Juice stated they knew the fallen wouldn’t stop them. Their wish was to finish their assignment. He said this exercise intended to get them ready for war with Russia.

This article appeared in NewsHouse and has been published here with permission.

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