Ukraine’s fighter force – lessons learned from combat

The Russia-Ukraine war has seen the Ukrainian air arm mainly countering cruise missile and drone attacks, while air combat against Russian fighters was carried out only in the opening days of invasion. Alexander Mladenov looks at the lessons learned from these operations

The Ukrainian Air Force (UkrAF) has been heavily involved in territorial air defence missions from day one of the Russian invasion, its pilots fighting with determination and rapidly adapting to the threats, despite the enemy’s technological and numerical superiority. While the Kyiv propaganda machine  claimed multiple kills of Russian aircraft in the opening weeks of war, in fact there are no confirmed victories scored against jet fighters or heavy transports.

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