Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., is among a bipartisan group of senators asking the secretary of defense “to take a hard look” at the prospect sending fighter jets to Ukraine.
A group of eight senators this week sent Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin 11 questions about supplying fighter jets to Ukraine and how long it would take to train the country’s pilots on the aircraft.
“We are now at a critical juncture in the conflict,” the senators wrote. “And it’s imperative that the United States continue to carefully assess what capabilities we can provide to ensure Ukraine is able to defeat the Russians on the battlefield.”
Some of the questions they asked Austin were about the operational impact the fighter jets would have on the war, and how Ukraine would train and maintain the planes.
Sen. Mark Kelley, D-Arizona, organized the letter.
“Putin has made a critical misjudgment, but at the same time, he shows no sign of acknowledging this and withdrawing from Ukraine,” the senators wrote. “If anything, we expect additional Russian offensives this spring. In order to restore peace and security in Europe, the United States must continue working with our allies to continuously assess how we can best support Ukraine’s efforts and ensure Putin loses this war.”
Poland recently announced that it would be sending Ukraine MiG-29 fighter jets.