Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov had asked the U.S. for 100 of its A-10 Warthog ground attack jets, The Washington Post reported. The U.S. outright rejected this request to evade tensions between Moscow and Washington.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has seen the Ukrainian defense supported by the U.S. and its NATO allies. Military aid packages were provided but fighter jets in combat has been out of the question.
However, Ukraine knew what it was talking about. Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksii Reznikov claimed that aircraft could be redirected to the Ukrainian war effort, helping it combat the Russian aggression in Kyiv with a 40-mile (64 km) column of tanks and heavily armored vehicles.
The aircraft has a 30mm GAU-8/A Gatling gun that can fire 3,900 rounds a minute and can come with a wide range of air-to-surface weapons, including precision-guided and unguided munitions.
A-10 Thunderbolt II is called the Warthog. It has Night Vision Imaging Systems (NVIS), helmet-mounted cueing systems, and a large bubble canopy cockpit that provides pilots with broad vision.
The single-pilot aircraft can carry up to 16,000 pounds (7,200 kg) of mixed ordnance, including bombs, missiles, and rockets under its wing and fuselage pylons.
The U.S. has not sent aircraft as an aid to Ukraine as they can be used to conduct deep strikes within Russia. Instead, the U.S. and its allies are looking into sending Soviet-designed combat jets to Ukraine.
The U.S. has also led the effort in arming Ukraine’s Soviet-origin jets with AGM-88 High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM) with plans to add more such attack options in the future.