Ukrainian pilots can master F-16 jets within six months, says air force commander
Ukraine is asking allies for F-16 fighter jets, a discussion is ongoing in the West (Photo:South Korean Defence Ministry/Handout via Reuters)
Ukrainian pilots can learn to operate and fly F-16 fighter jets in less than six months, Ukrainian Air Force chief General Serhiy Holubtsov, told UK newspaper the Times on March 20, following the evaluation of two Ukrainian pilots who trained on a simulator in the United States.
The pilots, who have already returned to Ukraine, spent three weeks training in the United States.
“They trained on an F-16 simulator to fly with two pilots and operate weapons systems,” said the general.
“The results were very good: Ukrainian pilots can learn to fly and operate weapon systems on the F-16 in less than six months.”
General Holubtsov noted that the pilots' skills were highly regarded and that their experience could help shorten the training process.
“The pilots’ skills were evaluated very highly, and these guys were average pilots. Each pilot is unique, so an individual training plan has to be created for each one. However, based on this assessment, we can significantly shorten the training time, depending on the previous experience of Ukrainian pilots,” he said.
Earlier, media reported that two Ukrainian pilots were in Arizona for training on flight simulators and skill improvement.
The United States is working with Ukrainian pilots to determine how long it will take to train them on F-16 fighter jets.
The Ukrainian Air Force confirmed that two Ukrainian pilots have arrived in the United States, where they worked with U.S. specialists.
Despite this, U.S. President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz have declined to provide fighter planes to Ukraine, stating that they would only take action if it had broad support from the West.
Ukraine's Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov believes that a positive decision on transferring warplanes to Ukraine could be made within one or two months.
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