Ukraine selects fighter pilots for F-16 training, but allies yet to OK deliveries

30 April, 04:34 PM
F-16 fighter (Photo:Tony CC Gray/

F-16 fighter (Photo:Tony CC Gray/

Ukraine has already compiled a list of pilots who will be the first to master F-16 fighters – when they are supplied, the spokesperson of the Ukrainian Air Force Command Yuriy Ihnat said on Ukrainian national television on April 30.

“There is already a list of pilots, several dozen people, the best of the best, who will be the first to master (these aircraft),” he said.

“They have been identified, and once the decision (to supply F-16s to Ukraine) is made, they are ready to train either in Europe or the United States at various sites. Whichever countries provide us with these sites, they will go there.”

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Ihnat said it may take about three months for Ukrainian pilots to learn how to fly the F-16s.

He also stressed that without air cover, it would be impossible for Ukraine to succeed in either offensive or defensive operations.

He added that modern aviation would be capable of “restoring order in the air, on the ground and at sea quite effectively.

”Earlier, the White House maintained that it was not considering the possibility of transferring F-16s to Ukraine.

On March 20, Ukrainian Air Force Aviation Commander Serhiy Holubtsov said that Ukrainian pilots would be able to learn to fly the F-16 in less than six months.

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