How strong is the Russian Air Force? According to the British Ministry of Defence, it has recently been flying more attacks again. Nevertheless, the British currently consider an extension of the air war to be unlikely.
According to British secret services, Russia can hardly rely on its air force in the war of aggression against Ukraine. The Ministry of Defense in London said that Russian warplanes had recently flown more attacks again. However, they could not perform their actual key role because they would be deployed almost exclusively over Russian-controlled territory, it said.
The reason is, on the one hand, the functioning Ukrainian air defense system. In addition, the fighter jets were scattered over several bases because of the risk of Ukrainian attacks on Russian airfields. According to the British Ministry, an extension of the air war is unlikely under the current circumstances. This would result in "unsustainable aircraft losses". "Overall, the Russian Air Force continues to perform poorly in the war," it said. With an estimated 1,500 military aircraft, the Russian air force is largely intact despite the loss of around 130 aircraft since the beginning of the war, according to London.
However, the Ukrainian Air Force recently sighted several balloons launched from Russia over the capital Kiev. The Ukrainian side said most of them had been shot down. Officials in Kiev said Wednesday the balloons may have been outfitted with reconnaissance equipment and launched to "discover and exhaust our air defenses."
Ukraine itself has been demanding fighter jets for defense since the beginning of the war - which the western allies have so far rejected. British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace only dampened hopes for rapid fighter jet deliveries on Wednesday. It takes a long time to learn how to fly such jets, and - similar to a Formula 1 team - a whole crew is required. "And we will not send 200 members of the Royal Air Force to Ukraine in wartime."