Pilot Training for Ukraine Force Expected To Last ' Five to Nine' Months
Ukrainian Air Force Will Begin Flying F-16s
Pilot training for Ukraine's Armed Forces on U.S. F-16 fighters is projected to take between five to nine months, according to United States Department of Defense spokesman Gen. Patrick Ryder. Ryder announced during a press briefing on Oct. 31.
"We expect that the completion of training will depend on the individual skills of the pilots themselves, but we can assume that they will need between five to nine months to complete this program," said Ryder.
This comes after Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ihnat revealed on Oct. 12 that Ukrainian pilots will soon begin flying actual F-16 jets with the guidance of instructors.
The United States, along with the Netherlands and Denmark, will lead a coalition of countries in providing training for Ukrainian pilots in handling and maintaining F-16s. A total of 11 countries have agreed to assist with the training efforts. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stated that the first F-16 jets could arrive in Ukraine as early as the spring of 2024.
A group of Ukrainian pilots in Europe is already undergoing training on F-16 simulators, preparing them for the transition to flying the real aircraft.
The Netherlands and Denmark have committed to providing Ukraine with a combined total of 61 F-16 aircraft, with 42 from the Netherlands and 19 from Denmark. Norway has also confirmed its intention to supply F-16s to Ukraine.
The training of Ukrainian pilots on U.S. F-16 fighters marks a significant step in strengthening Ukraine's military capabilities.
The partnership with the United States and other allied countries will enhance Ukraine's ability to defend its sovereignty and contribute to regional security.
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