Ukrainian pilots ‘fly’ F-16 fighter jets in Ukraine
The tactical aviation brigades of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are equipped with special simulators that allow pilots to get acquainted with F-16 before they go to Europe or the USA for training
The Air Force of Ukraine published a video on its social media pages in which it says that while a number of Ukrainian pilots will be learning to target Russian occupiers on the F-16 multifunctional fighter jets. Those pilots who remain in Ukraine are already getting acquainted with the American aircraft in their free time from combat and other missions, Defense Express reports.
"We all understand that the future belongs to F-16s or other types of aircraft provided by our partners, so we need to get ready, study the cabin equipment, weapons systems and their use," says Andriy, a Su-27 pilot.
The Ukrainian pilots are introduced to the F-16 aircraft by a fairly simple system consisting of a joystick on the right side of the aircraft, an engine control stick, pedals, virtual reality goggles, a monitor, and a system unit.
According to Oleksandr Dyakiv, a representative of the Ukrainian Air Force Training Command, this system allows Ukrainian pilots to make the best use of their free time for training, as they are not tied to specific locations and can study at a time that suits them.
"Speaking specifically about F-16 aircraft, this means practical flights on these systems, both individually and in a group, and pilots can be located anywhere in Ukraine," says Dyakiv, stressing that such preliminary training allows pilots to reduce the duration of further training in partner countries.
Thanks to the preliminary training, it will be easier for Ukrainian pilots to train on the F-16 in Europe or the US. Photo: still from the Ukrainian Air Force's video
The spokesperson for the Air Force of Ukraine, Yuriy Ihnat, emphasizes that the aviation simulators mentioned are available to virtually all tactical aviation brigades. "The software, the maps that are loaded into the program, correspond to real maps of the territory of Ukraine, the occupied territory, so the pilots actually fly over the terrain they already know," Ihnat says.
Su-27 pilot Andriy, who mastered the F-16 on such a flight simulator, emphasizes that the American aircraft would greatly simplify the task of fighter aircraft to cover strike aircraft and launch missile and bomb strikes.
Earlier, Espreso reported that the US had drastically reduced the estimate of the minimum training period for Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16 multirole fighters.