An F-16 wing. File photo: Turkish Air Force
Yahoo News has exclusively obtained an internal US Air Force assessment that concludes it would take only four months to train Ukrainian pilots to operate American-made F-16 fighter jets, a far shorter time frame than what Pentagon officials have repeatedly cited.
A detailed assessment conducted at Morris Air National Guard Base in Tucson, Arizona, and shared with NATO allies flying F-16s reveals that two Ukrainian airmen, with no formal training on the F-16, were tested on a flight simulator, successfully performing various technical maneuvers such as landing the aircraft after an engine failure and executing simulated attacks. The Ukrainian pilots, qualified on the Soviet-era Su-27 and MiG-29 jets, were evaluated by experienced US Air Force instructors who concluded that they demonstrated the required skills for F-16 operations.
The evaluation highlighted that the Ukrainian pilots faced a training challenge due to their lack of familiarity with the complex avionics of the F-16, particularly the English language displays. However, it also noted a noticeable improvement in the English aptitude of both pilots during the two-week evaluation period.
Despite these drawbacks, the report concludes that “given the current skill set demonstrated by the Ukrainian Air Force pilot … four months is a realistic training timeline.”
- US resists European push for F-16 transfer to Ukraine
- Four countries ready to train Ukrainian pilots on F-16
- Like previous weapons, F-16s will not provoke Russia to “escalate” – Ukraine’s FM
- Ukraine needs F-16s for defense against modernized Russian bombs – Air Force Command
- Ukraine is losing experienced pilots who could have trained on F-16 – The Telegraph