Contradictory statements issued by the Pentagon and the Ukrainian Air Force appear to cast doubt on the delivery of new aircraft to Ukraine.
When asked if fighter aircraft had been delivered to Ukraine, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the Ukrainian Air Force received additional aircraft and parts to increase its operable fleet. The model and provenance of the aircraft was not specified.
“I would just say without getting into what other nations are providing that they have received additional platforms and parts to be able to increase their fleet size,” Kirby said during a press conference. “We certainly have helped with the transshipment of some additional spare parts that have helped with their aircraft needs, but we have not transported whole aircraft.”
Following the declaration, the Ukrainian Air Force said in a tweet that it had officially not received any new aircraft from its allies but spare parts and components which helped in the restoration and repair of its current fleet.
Ukraine did not receive new aircraft from partners!
With the assistance of the US Government, @KpsZSU received spare parts and components for the restoration and repair of the fleet of aircraft in the Armed Forces, which will allow to put into service more equipment.
— Ukrainian Air Force (@KpsZSU) April 20, 2022
Since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine, Russia has been attempting to gain air superiority, targeting the infrastructures and air bases of the Ukrainian Air Force and destroying several aircraft.
Between February 24 and 26, 2022, missile strikes at Ivano-Frankivsk International Airport (IFO), southwest of the country, significantly damaged at least six Ukrainian MiG-29 fighters parked on the apron, according to unconfirmed footage.
Consequently, Ukraine called on its allies to supply additional Soviet-era aircraft, such as MiG-29 Fulcrum and Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker fighters, or Sukhoi Su-24 Fencer and Su-25 Frogfoot ground-attack aircraft. Poland, Slovakia, and Bulgaria suggested they could provide such platforms, but the bold scheme has not yet officially been put into action.
On April 13, 2022, the US Department of Defense (DOD) announced that it will supply Ukraine with newly authorized equipment and supplies, including AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel air surveillance radar systems as well as 11 Mi-17 helicopters and 300 Switchblade drones.