ua en ru

France wants to train 26 Ukrainian pilots in two years - Le Monde

France wants to train 26 Ukrainian pilots in two years - Le Monde France has plans to train dozens of Ukrainian pilots for flights on F-16 jets (photo: Getty Images)

The French Air and Space Force has committed to training 26 Ukrainian military pilots to fly Western F-16 fighter jets within two years, according to the French edition Le Monde.

Training for Ukrainian Armed Forces pilots is ongoing at an undisclosed airbase in southwestern France for security reasons, according to reports.

"In mid-June, the Air and Space Force opened the doors to these trainings for the first time since the start of the war in Ukraine, with official training having commenced in March," the French press states.

Le Monde also reports that ten Ukrainian recruits aged between 21 and 23 have joined the training. The pilots are required to complete a course on simulators before being ready to fly a two-seater aircraft with an instructor.

According to French media, the Alphajets training course includes 80 hours of flight time, supplemented by 50 hours on a simulator.

Overall, this accelerated training program has been reduced to one-third of its usual length, with the intensive course set to last six months.

F-16 fighter jets for Ukraine

Last year, some NATO member countries decided to transfer F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine and to train Ukrainian pilots for these aircraft.

Recently, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced that F-16 aircraft from her country would soon be delivered to Ukraine.

Additionally, on June 16, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced after a meeting with the Danish Prime Minister that the F-16 fighters would arrive in Ukraine soon.

Recently, Serhii Holubtsov, chief of aviation of the Air Force Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, revealed that some Western F-16 fighters would be stationed at foreign airbases. This decision aims to protect the aircraft from Russian attacks.

According to the spokesperson for the Ukrainian Air Force, Ilya Yevlash, Ukrainian pilots who went to Britain for training on the F-16s have already moved to the next stage of mastering the skills of operating the fighters in France.