Pilot training for Ukraine’s Armed Forces on U.S. F-16 fighters may last between five to nine months, U.S. Department of Defense spokesman Gen. Patrick Ryder said at a press briefing on Oct. 31.
“We expect that the completion of training will depend on the individual skills of the pilots themselves, but we can assume that they will need between five to nine months to complete this program,” said Ryder.
On Oct. 12, Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ihnat announced that within a few weeks Ukrainian pilots would begin flying actual F-16 jets under the supervision of instructors.
The United States previously announced that, together with the Netherlands and Denmark, it will lead a coalition of countries that will train Ukrainians in handling and maintaining F-16s. Eleven countries have agreed to assist with training. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that the first jets could arrive in Ukraine in the spring of 2024.
A group of Ukrainian pilots in Europe is already undergoing training on F-16 simulators.
On Aug. 20, the Netherlands, along with Denmark, promised to provide Ukraine with 61 aircraft — 42 and 19, respectively. Norway later confirmed its intention to supply F-16s.
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