Ukraine has expressed displeasure with some of its NATO allies’ attempts to end the war at its current juncture, since it will force it to accept foreign terms which will involve loss of territory.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has stated clearly that Berlin’s main goal is to end the war, regardless of how it was done, by phone or meeting. The Russia Ukraine war is seeing the United States indulge in profiteering by charging upto 4 times the price of LNG, compared to prices offered by Russia. The war is also seeing German industry relocate to the United States sighting a surge in energy prices.
Washington has opposed Berlin’s stand and has increased its budget by more than $100 billion for 2023, including aid to Ukraine. The Russia Ukraine war is seeing the United States make a pile of money, given increased weapons sales to not Ukraine but other countries as well.
As for Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to underutilise his Air and Space Forces. Despite Ukraine facing an impending shortage of surface-to-air missiles for air defence systems, Putin has yet to fully capitalise on his air power.
SO far, Ukrainian air defences are effective, forcing Russian air force to launch airstrikes from a safe distance or risk entering enemy airspace to destroy radar installations.
The war is greatly being influenced by Ukraine’s neighbors, Poland. Warsaw is an active defender of Ukraine and it employs military aeronautical engineers to integrate Storm, Shadow, and SCALP missiles on Ukrainian aircraft.
According to Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for Russia’s Ministry of Defense, Kyiv has almost no fighter jets apart from a few MiG-29s which are still in service, most likely donated by a country sympathetic to Ukraine.
Given this scenario, the Biden Administration now intends to send JDAM bombs to Ukraine.
JDAM bombs are modified free-falling bombs, and are also known as dump bombs. The modification entails integrating a bomb-to-air kit that includes wings, a computer, a tail unit, and a guidance system. As a result, once the bomb is released from the aircraft, an operator can direct it, and thus significantly increasing its effectiveness.
According to sources, JDAM bombs can hit targets at a distance of nearly 28 kilometres. If deployed from a high-flying fighter like the US F-22 its effective range can be doubled. Ukraine however lacks such a fighter plane.
This is one of the reasons why some analysts believe that Washington plans on delivering F-15 or F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.
There is already a strong political lobby in Washington for Ukraine to receive American fighter jets. The fact that Ukrainian pilots have been training to fly the American attack aircraft A-10 since the beginning of the war should not be overlooked.
The presence of F-15 and F-16 fighter jets in Ukraine means that the Ukrainian Air Force will be able to carry out deep strikes deep into Russian-occupied territory. Ukrainian forces have done this on occasion since the beginning of the war, but it is more of a guerrilla tactic with a short-term effect than a devastating air raid.
The use of a joint set of direct attack munitions on systems unknown to the Russians, such as the F-15 or F-16s, adds another threat to Russian military headquarters, warehouses, and outposts.
The Russian media is currently divided on the issue. While some see this as Washington’s public relations campaign, while others see it as an attempt to combine Western and Soviet technology. Everyone agrees that, whatever be the scenario, the Russian Federation’s military airfields in temporarily occupied territories will become more vulnerable and “exposed” in a scenario involving JDAM bombs.
Russia could respond to US JDAM bombs by increase its purchase of Iran’s Yasir-guided bombs (JDAM-ER).
“The Islamic Republic’s Air Force learned to use them from its outdated aircraft without entering the strike radius of the enemy’s air defence systems, saving both pilots and equipment,” said a report in the Russian media.
Other Iranian weapons are also available for Moscow. Case in point: Balaban has a smaller calibre and a shorter range (25 km). The delivery of Karrar drones, each armed with one of two Iranian bomb models, will allow Russian air defence systems to carry out strikes up to 400 kilometres away.
In other words, Russia will respond in any case to an eventual delivery of US bombs or fighter planes. Irrespective of either scenario, Russia will be able to launch long-range attacks on Ukrainian targets.