14:46 18 May 2023

US objects to Ukrainian pilots training on F-16s in Europe

Washington does not allow Ukrainian pilots to train on F-16 fighters, writes The New York Times, citing a senior Ukrainian official.

The United States is skeptical about the transfer of American fighter jets to Kyiv.

He noted that without US permission, Ukrainian pilots could only be introduced to the technical language and conduct tactical lessons. Test flights on the F-16 are not possible.

Biden's administration does not want to send its F-16s to Ukraine because they would take too much money from the military budget. Another issue is that the fighter contains a number of classified systems, including radar.

At the same time, he did not rule out that the administration may allow European countries to transfer their F-16s to Ukraine.

Great Britain and the Netherlands will create a coalition for the supply of F-16s to Ukraine. The UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced that London will open a new training center to train Ukrainian military pilots to use Western aircraft. 

According to Politico, the pressure on the Biden administration to transfer the F-16s to Kyiv is intensifying.

In an evening address on Tuesday, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that Britain and the Netherlands, as well as France, had joined the so-called "fighter coalition".

At the same time, on May 17, the Dutch foreign minister Wopke Hoekstra said on Wednesday that there is no progress in international negotiations on the possible supply of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.


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