14:43 22 Oct 2023

Ukrainian pilots progress from F-16 simulators to training on combat jets – Air Force

The first group of Ukrainian pilots will soon progress from F-16 flight simulators to training on combat jets.

"We expect that the first group of F-16 pilots, who are already training on flight simulators right now, will move to the cockpit of the combat training jet in the near future," Colonel Yurii Ihnat, the Ukrainian Air Force spokesperson, said on the air of the national telethon. "The flights will happen under the guidance of an instructor. Then they will end with independent piloting after this training."

The colonel said the partners noted that Ukrainian pilots quickly mastered the training program. This result was achieved with the homework that the pilots completed before the training trip, Ihnat stressed. 

Rubryka reported that Ukrainian pilots would be included in the first wave of training at the new Pilot Training Center for F-16 in Romania.

What we know about F-16 fighter pilot training

Many European countries have agreed to train Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets as part of the jet coalition. By July, the partners planned to approve the training program for Ukrainian pilots, engineers, and technicians on F-16 fighter jets. The training is expected to take place in a specially designated center in one of the European countries.

After President Volodymyr Zelensky's visits to the Netherlands, Denmark, and Norway, the nations announced that they would provide Ukraine with at least 61 fighter jets. Ukraine will receive 42 American-made F-16 fighter jets from the Netherlands and 19 planes from Denmark. Training of Ukrainian pilots will begin as soon as possible.

Earlier, Air Force spokesperson Yurii Ihnat reported that Ukraine needs about 128 jets to gain superiority in the sky and replace the old aircraft fleet. Ukraine's defense ministry said that Ukraine could receive the first F-16 jets no earlier than in 6-7 months.

In September, the Pentagon is set to start training Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets in the United States. First, they learn English and then begin flight training on aircraft.

In mid-September, the Air Force spokesperson, Yurii Ihnat, said that training Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets had moved from a standstill and "gained momentum."

In late September, the Air Force released a video about how pilots adapt to the F-16 in Ukraine. They master the control of American F-16 fighter jets with the help of a flight simulator.


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