Espreso. Global

First group of Ukrainian pilots to complete F-16 training in US by summer

21 February, 2024 Wednesday
10:02

The first group of four Ukrainian pilots plans to complete training on F-16 fighter jets by summer 2024

CNN, citing data from the Arizona National Guard, reported the information. 

According to National Guard spokeswoman Captain Erin Hannigan, this group of pilots began training in mid-October at the 162nd Fighter Wing in Tucson, Arizona. The Pentagon said the training process will last several months.

The second group, which also includes four pilots, began training in January. The third group is currently studying the necessary English terminology before starting training on the F-16.

All pilots are expected to complete their training between May and August, although the exact schedule depends on the progress of the program.

Last summer, a coalition of countries led by Denmark began training Ukrainian pilots on US aircraft. The Netherlands, Denmark, and Norway have pledged to provide Ukraine with F-16s after the training program is completed. The United States also pledged to approve the transfer of the aircraft once the training is complete.

F-16 fighter jets for Ukraine

On May 21, US President Joe Biden approved the training of Ukrainians on F-16s. Volodymyr Zelenskyy assured that Ukraine would not use these aircraft to strike at Russian territory. 

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba says that the first F-16 fighter jets are likely to fly in Ukraine's skies by the end of March 2024.

On August 17, the United States approved the shipment of F-16 multi-role fighters to Ukraine.

At the same time, Denmark said it would supply Ukraine with the aircraft if they were not used in Russia.  

The Netherlands will provide 42 fighter jets. At the same time, Norway will provide Ukraine with F-16s, but the exact number is unknown.

On September 15, Belgium joined the training of Ukrainian pilots on F-16s. Earlier, the Belgian Defense Ministry said it would not provide Ukraine with F-16 fighters because they are outdated and in poor condition. Such aircraft are dangerous to operate. 

On October 11, Danish Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen said that the country would be able to deliver the first F-16s to Ukraine in March-April 2024.

On October 12, the media reported that the Netherlands would send F-16s to Romania, where Ukrainian pilots would begin training in a few weeks.

On October 26, Ukrainian pilots began flight training on F-16s at an air base in Arizona, USA.

On November 1, the Pentagon said that the training in Arizona could last from 5 to 9 months. 

In early January 2024, Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Patrick Ryder said that Ukrainian pilots would complete training on F-16 fighter jets this year.

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