Ukrainians to start F-16 training flights with instructors in the next few weeks

Ukrainian pilots are preparing to fly the F-16
Ukrainian pilots are preparing to fly the F-16

Ukrainian pilots may begin flying actual F-16 fighter jets accompanied by instructors in just a few weeks, Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ihnat said on national television.

Pilots are doing everything possible to finish their training and begin operations with these aircraft in Ukraine.

Read also: Danilov sets the record straight on how many F-16s Ukraine will receive and on pilot training

"The pilots who are already training in the USA and other countries are undergoing simulator training. This is a fully functional aircraft, effectively replicating the pilot's cockpit, and they are already performing most of the tasks given by instructors in a more realistic manner. I believe that in a few weeks, there will be flights with instructors on real aircraft.”

Each pilot has an individual training program and after training with instructors, independent flights will follow.

Ukraine is preparing its infrastructure for the use of F-16 aircraft.

Read also: Ukrainian Air Force confirms pilots will begin F-16 training at US air base in September

"If we have active combat operations, we won't build the infrastructure there as beautifully as during peacetime. We need it to function properly, to have shelter for the aircraft, to prevent the enemy from destroying them, and to work on the systems to manage the aircraft. Ukraine is working on its homework. It's clear that it's difficult on the front lines, but we need to wait for it.”

Ukraine plans to re-equip its aircraft fleet in the long term.

"We have a long-term perspective for cooperation with our partners. We cannot replace everything at once, and in 2025, 2026, 2030, we will upgrade our aircraft fleet. Everything that is Soviet-made will stay in the former Soviet Union, in Russia, and everything new will be put into service, from anti-aircraft missile systems to aircraft.”

Experienced Ukrainian pilots receive training to pilot F-16s in the USA and Denmark, while younger pilots train in the UK.

Read also: Ukraine's Air Force says F-16 training for pilots advancing significantly

The Dutch government stated that the preparation of pilots and technical personnel would likely take 6 to 8 months. The Netherlands, in collaboration with Denmark, pledged to transfer 61 aircraft to Ukraine – i42 and 19, respectively. Norway later confirmed its intention to transfer F-16s to Ukraine as well.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine