19:11 19 May 2023

Biden endorses joint F-16 training for Ukrainian forces – CNN

Фото: dailylviv.com

US President Joe Biden informed G7 leaders the US will support a joint effort with allies to train Ukrainian pilots on Western aircraft, including F-16s, a senior administration official tells CNN.

The leaders heard for the first time Biden's backing of training Ukrainian pilots on advanced fighter jets as a precursor to sending the jets to Ukraine.

According to the CNN source, the training of Ukrainian pilots will likely take place only in Europe, but American personnel will participate along with European allies and partners.

As the training takes place over the coming months, our coalition of countries participating in this effort will decide when to actually provide jets, how many we will provide, and who will provide them, the US official added.

The official added that "to date, the United States and our allies and partners have focused on providing Ukraine with the vast majority of the systems, weapons, and training it requires to conduct offensive operations this spring and summer. 

Discussions about improving the Ukrainian Air Force reflect our long-term commitment to Ukraine's self-defense, the CNN source said.

Earlier, CNN reported that the Biden administration had made it clear to European allies in recent weeks that the United States would allow them to transfer F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.

The UK and the Netherlands were looking to form an "international coalition" not only to procure the jets for Ukraine but also to train Ukrainian pilots on the 4th generation fighters, which are more advanced than the Ukrainian fighter fleet.

Ukraine's foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba hopes that the "coalition of fighter jets" will be formed already this year.

London has already announced the start of the training of Ukrainian pilots in Western aviation in the summer of 2023. According to Zelensky, France, and Belgium have also confirmed their readiness to train Ukrainian pilots.


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