Sending older versions of the F16s to Ukraine would require replacement within four to six years, and transporting the new Block 70s to Kiev proved too expensive for the United States.
Military analysts John Heng and William Courtney wrote about this in a Defense News that along with maintenance and weapons, the new F16 costs $200 million.
In the long term, Ukraine may count on a steady flow of second-hand F16s and second-hand European fighters.
According to a recent report by the Government Accountability Office, operating an F-16 costs $4.6 million annually, or $184 million for a fleet of 40 aircraft.
Experts say that the budget of the Ukrainian Air Force in 2020 amounted to about $1.1 billion, including support for about 70 old Soviet fighters.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov announced that Kiev wouldn’t be able to use F16 fighters during the summer counteroffensive.
Reznikov’s remarks came during an exclusive interview with Japanese “NHK” television on June 5, during which he said that the F16s will not change many things this summer, and it will take time to prepare our pilots, as our partners will organize training courses for pilots, engineers and technicians.
He considered that Ukraine would be ready to deploy F16 fighters in the fall or next winter.
Reznikov added that Ukraine will use all ground equipment during the counterattack.