Ukraine's most promising pilots join UK-based NATO program to master F-16s

The British are helping Ukrainian pilots to adapt to NATO aircraft
The British are helping Ukrainian pilots to adapt to NATO aircraft

The entire graduating class of the Kharkiv Air Force University Flight Faculty has been sent to the United Kingdom for pilot training, Ukrainian Air Force Yuriy Ihnat spokesman told NV in an interview on Nov. 25.

The Ukrainians have been studying aviation terminology in English for several months, he said. He said that the graduates of the Flight Faculty of the Kharkiv Air Force University have been studying in the UK for several months now on a two-year program.

Read also: How Russia will respond to Ukrainian F-16s

Pilots, navigators, combat controllers, and aviation engineers (technicians who will maintain the aircraft) are among the Ukrainians undergoing training.

"Their entire class was sent to the UK," explained Ihnat.

“Indeed, there are no F-16s there, but there is basic training that they will undergo. First of all, it is an intensive study of English with aviation terminology. This is a very important point in order to be adapted to NATO. The next step will be theoretical training – familiarization with the functionality of the aircraft, how they are used, and so on. After that, there will be training on NATO-standard T-6 single-engine trainer aircraft.”

Read also: Ukrainian pilots’ F-16 training to take between 5 and 9 months — Pentagon

These light-engine aircraft are adapted to the NATO model, and their cockpit will actually be a transitional stage to the F-16, the Ihnat said.

After completing the two-year program, the young pilots will be sent to another country to train on F-16 fighters.

“It remains to be seen where they will be sent: either to Romania, Denmark, or the United States, where most pilot training centers are located,” Ihnat said.

These pilots will already be trained according to NATO standards, he said.

"These young people are our future! They will be very well trained and will defend the country in the future.”

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