"This is an important indicator." Zgurets explains how long it takes Ukrainian pilots to train on F-16
Ukrainian pilots can learn to operate the modern American F-16 fighter jets that Ukraine is asking for from its partners in three to six months. This figure is several times less than previously estimated by the US and NATO.
This was stated by Sergiy Zgurets, Director of Defense Express, on Espresso broadcast on Thursday, March 23. The expert noted that the discussion on providing the Ukrainian army with these aircraft should be intensified.
According to him, the quick timeframe for the Ukrainian military to master the F-16 is an important indicator for the dialogue on the acquisition of fighter jets by Kyiv to not only start again, but also for the decision to be made as soon as possible.
Zgurets said that intermediate-level pilots had undergone test exercises in the US state of Arizona to check their ability to master the F-16.
"This means that Ukrainian pilots can master the F-16 in three to six months. This is an important indicator to accelerate and intensify the discussion on providing us with F-16s," Zgurets said.
The expert added that earlier, Mirage aircraft were considered as one of the possible options for the Ukrainian Armed Forces, but then they opted for F-16s.
The day before, it became known that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg supported the transfer of F-16 fighters to Ukraine by the member states of the Alliance. He said that the West should be ready to support Ukraine in the protracted Russian war. According to him, dictator Putin is waging a war of attrition.
A representative of the Ukrainian Air Force, Yuriy Ihnat, explained that modern Western aircraft could gain air superiority and become a reliable shield against enemy cruise missiles and drones. F-16s are capable of effectively and safely conducting precision strikes, destroying enemy air defences and disrupting enemy logistics.
"Having gained air superiority in a certain area of the frontline, we can fully expect a successful ground de-occupation operation. And it may not even be necessary to conduct heavy fighting. In theory, the occupiers will simply run away afterwards, just like in the Kherson and Kharkiv regions," Ihnat said.
Recall that a group of senators from both the Democratic and Republican parties is putting pressure on the White House to deliver F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine as soon as possible. They believe that such support could change the rules of the game on the battlefield. At the same time, President Joe Biden believes that Ukraine does not need F-16s "right now". According to him, other assistance is a priority at this stage of the war.
As reported by OBOZREVATEL, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that the issue of transferring modern fighter jets to Ukraine is quite complicated, but Ukrainians hope for a positive decision. At the same time, the head of state stressed that new combat aircraft could decide the course of the war in Ukraine.
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