US Trying to Adapt AMRAAM Missiles to Soviet-era Ukrainian MiG Fighter Jets

US Trying to Adapt AMRAAM Missiles to Soviet-era Ukrainian MiG Fighter Jets
US Trying to Adapt AMRAAM Missiles to Soviet-era Ukrainian MiG Fighter Jets

WASHINGTON - The Pentagon is looking into the possibility of installing US-made missiles on Soviet-era MiG fighter jets used by Ukraine in its conflict with Russia. Two Defense Department officials and others familiar with the matter told Politico.

"The weapons are the AIM-120 advanced medium-range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM), which are designed to be fired by Western aircraft, including F-16s, and have a range of over 100 km (62 miles)," the report said. Politico on Tuesday (7/3/2023).

However, sources note the challenges posed by the integration process, due to the significant differences between US and Soviet technology. Also Read British SAS Soldiers Undercover Arms Dealers, Travel the World Search Artillery for Ukraine “The main problem is missiles and planes cannot talk to each other,” they said.

The source explained that in order to open fire, the aircraft's radar had to find the target and then aim the projectiles towards it. “The issue the Pentagon is working on is: How do you mount this thing? Can you get all the electronic devices on board to talk to this thing that wasn't meant to be launched?” said one of the officials.

The sources pointed out there are fears that Kiev is running out of ammunition for its air defense systems as Russian forces continue missile attacks on Ukraine's military and energy infrastructure.

Not only that, Russia also sent decoy balloons with radar reflectors to deplete Ukraine's missile stocks. "If the Pentagon succeeds in combining AMRAAMs and MiGs, this will mark the first time the US has given a Ukrainian aircraft the ability to fire air-to-air missiles," Politico wrote.

The US and its allies have so far been reluctant to meet persistent demands from Ukraine for Western warplanes. “I put that aside for now,” US President Joe Biden said in late February when asked about the possibility of arming Ukraine with American fighter jets. “Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky doesn't need F-16s now. There is no reasonable basis, according to our military, right now, to provide F-16s," Biden said.

Russia has warned the delivery of more advanced long-range weapons to Ukraine by the US and its allies could cross a “red line”, which would lead to a major escalation. According to Moscow, the weapons supply, intelligence sharing and training provided to Kiev's forces have de facto made Western countries parties to the conflict.

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