Denmark starts training Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighters: details
On Monday, 26 June, the Danish government announced the start of training for Ukrainian pilots on F-16 aircraft. At the same time, Denmark has changed the planned dates for replacing old American fighters in its fleet.
This was reported by AP. According to the new plans, the transition to new F-35 fighters will be two years faster than previously planned. Namely, by 2025 instead of the previously planned 2027, said Acting Defence Minister Troels Lund Poulsen.
"We will also consider whether to make specific donations of Danish F-16 fighters to Ukraine and how many of them there should be," he said.
It is noted that Ukrainian pilots will have to undergo a long training period of six to eight months before Denmark is likely to transfer these aircraft to Ukraine.
"This does not mean that you cannot make a decision in advance. But (the F-16s - Ed.) will be in Denmark until 2024," said Lund Poulsen.
As a reminder, Ukraine may receive the first F-16s from the West as early as early 2024. However, the issue has not been finalised, so the exact dates of delivery remain unclear.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said that Kyiv will put pressure on its allies to provide F-16s. He expects Ukrainian pilots to start training on these fighters in August. According to him, the process is hampered by "bureaucratic issues" that he "cannot and does not want to understand".
According to Politico, the West is considering Romania as a place to train Ukrainian pilots on F-16s. The training could be provided by Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of these aircraft.