Sweden to Send AWACS and Missiles to Ukraine Ahead of F-16s

Sweden to Send AWACS and Missiles to Ukraine Ahead of F-16s

Sweden to Send AWACS and Missiles to Ukraine Ahead of F-16s that will include Swedish-made Saab 340 AEW&C airborne early warning and control (AWACS) aircraft, American AIM-120 AMRAAM air to air missiles, air defense systems, tanks, armored personnel carriers and artillery ammunition, according to Swedish Defense Minister Paul Junson.

AWACS for Ukrainian Air Defense

Junson stated the Saab 340 AWACS aircraft will have “the greatest impact on Ukrainian air defense” by complementing the promised deliveries of American F-16 fighter jets, which he said are ineffective without supporting radar planes.

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Supporting F-16 Operations

The long-range radar detection and control capabilities of the Swedish AWACS are likely intended to enhance targeting for the F-16s Ukraine hopes to receive. The AIM-120 AMRAAMs will provide the F-16s with modern long-range air to air missiles.

No Swedish Fighters Included

However, Junson said Sweden has ruled out sending its own JAS 39 Gripen fighters since Ukraine is focused on implementing the U.S. F-16 program. Other unspecified air defenses, excess tanks and APCs will also be transferred.

Training and Operational Challenges

Key details like the number of AWACS aircraft, training for Ukrainian crews, and how they will be operated remain unclear. The complex planes require extensive training, suggesting potential delays. They may operate from NATO bases like Poland rather than inside Ukraine to avoid being priority Russian targets.

Expanded Defense Cooperation

As Ukraine awaits potential F-16 deliveries, Sweden’s promised AWACS radar planes, long range missiles and other aid aims to bolster its air defense and strike capabilities. However, logistical and training challenges remain for effectively integrating advanced systems like the AWACS into Ukraine’s operations against Russian forces.

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