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Pentagon on when Ukrainian pilots can finish their training on F-16

Pentagon on when Ukrainian pilots can finish their training on F-16 Photo: Ukrainian pilots may complete F-16 training in the US by the end of 2024 (Getty Images)

Ukrainian pilots may complete their training on F-16 aircraft in the United States by the end of 2024. This was stated by Pentagon spokesperson Patrick Ryder during a video briefing.

Ryder emphasized that a group of Ukrainian pilots continues daily flight training at the airbase in Arizona.

"As you know, depending on the skill level of the pilot, that can range from five to eight months. And so, I would expect, you know, sometime later this year we'll start to see those pilots graduate. But I don't have any specifics for you," stated the Pentagon spokesperson.

It was previously highlighted that Ukrainians at the airbase in Arizona are studying the fundamentals of operating the F-16 in classrooms and simulators, after which they will proceed to flight training.

Fighter jets F-16 for Ukraine

Earlier Ukraine's allies announced the creation of an aviation coalition to transfer modern fighters, including the F-16, to the country, which is jointly led by the Netherlands and Denmark. In total, Ukraine will receive at least 61 aircraft from Denmark and the Netherlands.

Additionally, Politico correspondent Lara Seligman reported that Ukrainian pilots have started flight training on F-16 fighters in the United States. According to her, on Wednesday, October 25, Ukrainian pilots began flying the F-16. Before that, they underwent training on simulators and aviation simulators that fully reproduced the aircraft cockpit.

On October 22, Yurii Ihnat, the spokesperson for the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, stated that Ukrainian pilots would soon transition from aviation simulators to actual F-16 fighters, accompanied by instructors.

On November 7, the Netherlands sent their first five F-16 fighters to Romania for training Ukrainian pilots, where a special center was opened.

The Air Force hopes that the first F-16 fighters will likely arrive in Ukraine in the spring of 2024. Approximately 150 aircraft would be sufficient to effectively defend the country's airspace.