No plan to train Ukrainian pilots on F-16 yet - CNN

Europe has not yet provided the US with a plan to train Ukrainian pilots on F-16s

The United States has yet to approve the final plan for training Ukrainian pilots in Western F-16 fighter jets, which is due to begin this month. This situation arose because the European members of the "fighter jet coalition" have not yet agreed on all the details of this plan.

This was reported by CNN, citing its own sources. The publication notes that two months after President Joe Biden announced US support for the training of Ukrainian pilots on F-16s, a number of important details remain unresolved.

For example, the approval of the plan includes permission to transfer special equipment for the F-16, such as flight simulators and training manuals, as the training will take place only in Europe. However, officials told CNN that the Biden administration has not yet received a final training plan from the Europeans, meaning that the US has nothing to sign.

It is also still unclear which countries will provide their F-16s for training. The transfer of the aircraft to Ukraine will require a separate US authorisation.

Pentagon sources said that the US is still deciding whether to send US pilots to help train Ukrainians, but no decisions will be made until the final training plan is approved.

The concept of the training plan provided by the Danish Ministry of Defence to CNN states that the course will be aimed at training pilots and ground crew for six months and will take place in several locations, including a Danish air base.

At the same time, the publication notes that an internal US Air Force memorandum detailing the assessment states that the skills of the Ukrainians suggest that the training could be completed in four to five months.

The schedule is faster than the standard F-16 training programme for US Air Force pilots, but it excludes missions and tasks that are not required for Ukrainian pilots, such as mid-air refuelling and instrument landings.

Earlier this year, the US announced that in a few weeks it would start training Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets. It will take place in Europe and last for several months. At the same time, no country has yet committed to sending F-16s to Kyiv.

As reported by OBOZREVATEL:

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that training of Ukrainian pilots is likely to start in August, and the first F-16s could appear in Ukrainian skies by the end of the first quarter of 2024. However, the timetable could be slipped due to a large number of nuances.

Yuriy Ihnat, spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force, said that Ukrainian pilots have been "sitting on their suitcases" for almost two months. According to him, the decision to transfer the F-16 and train them is a difficult one. In addition to pilots, other specialists need to be trained.

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