Ukraine is losing experienced pilots who could have trained on F-16 – The Telegraph

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Russian forces are setting traps to ambush Ukrainian fighter jets using outdated Soviet aircraft, according to Major Vadym Voroshylov, one of Ukraine’s top pilots who talked with The Telegraph. He is calling for the West to send F-16 fighter jets, as Ukrainian pilots flying Soviet-era MiG-29s can only do as much as “hold the battlefield”. Ukraine has previously appealed to obtain F-16s, but the US has declined to supply them, prompting Ukraine to request RAF Typhoons.

“Right now, we can only hold the enemy but with F-16s we could control the airfield, as well as the seas and the ground to protect infantry,” Major Vadym Voroshylov said. “We need more modern aircrafts to be better than the enemy.”

“Less than six months are required to train on such a jet,” Ukrainian Colonel Volodymyr Lohachov said. “As long as we continue to wait we will lose more pilots. We had a list of the most advanced pilots who could be trained on F-16s and unfortunately, some of them have already been killed in action.”

Ukrainian Air Force ace pilots Major Vadim 'Karaya' Voroshylov and Colonel Volodymyr Logachov

Ukrainian Air Force ace pilots Major Vadim ‘Karaya’ Voroshylov and Colonel Volodymyr Logachov

An American assessment of Ukrainian fighter pilots has revealed they would be ready to fly F-16 jets after fewer than six months of training, Ukrainian Air Force Commander Gen. Serhii Holubtsov told The Times earlier in March.

In February, Ukraine has submitted a request to the Netherlands to supply F-16 fighter aircraft. On 24 February, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in Kyiv that Poland is ready to train Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets but such a decision must be agreed “within a wider coalition,” Suspilne reported.


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