Ukraine has frequently requested fourth-generation fighter jets, like the F-16, from the US.

However, air combat specialists contend that these aircraft won’t have much of an impact on the battlefield.

An ex-F-16 pilot claimed that given Russia’s air defense systems, these aircraft have no chance of combat.

While some in the West concur, others contend that modern fighter aircraft like those Ukraine wants wouldn’t stand a chance in the current threat environment. Ukrainian officials have long pressed their Western military allies to send them modern fighter jets, arguing Kyiv needs the airpower boost to best the invading Russian forces.

There have been repeated requests for the delivery of American-made F-16s, leading to debates over how effective the fourth-generation plane would be in the skies. One former F-16 pilot told Insider he wouldn’t want to attempt to fly missions over Ukraine right now, asserting that the aircraft can’t outmatch Russia’s air defense systems.

Fourth-generation fighters “have no business in a modern-day battlefield,” John Venable, a 25-year veteran of the US Air Force, told Insider in a recent interview.

Since the early days of Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022, Ukraine has sought fighter jets from its Western allies to supplement its diminishing fleet of Soviet-era MiG-29 and Su-27 fighters, which arguably cannot compete against Russia’s superior air force.