A coalition of 11 nations led by Denmark and the Netherlands that pledged to train Ukrainian pilots are still waiting on the US to formally approve the program before instruction on American F-16 fighter jets can begin, according to US and EU officials involved in the discussions, Politico reports.
At the recent NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, European officials said they hoped to begin the program in August in Denmark, with another training center to be set up in Romania, but Europeans’ requests to the US have already been in the pipeline for weeks.
Politico says the US State Department should formally sign off on the request to transfer instruction manuals, flight simulators, and other materials associated with the jets. US President Joe Biden promised to approve the program, but the formal request “is still being reviewed,” according to Pentagon spokesman Lt-Col. Garron Garn.
Pentagon acquisition chief William LaPlante told Politico that the Pentagon has to “make sure we’re ready to go with the technical manuals being translated and the tech data packages and a sustainment plan” with any export or training package before the transfer occurs.
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- Ukrainian pilots’ F-16 training to start in August, officials say – Reuters
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- Lockheed ready to train Ukrainian pilots if Nato allies send F-16s to Kyiv – FT
- Trudeau announces C$500 million aid package, Ukraine F-16 pilot training during visit to Kyiv
- Ukraine will be ready to deploy F-16 fighter jets not earlier than fall or winter – Defense Minister
- White House reveals conditions of supplying F-16s to Ukraine
- US signals to allies that it allow their exports of F-16 jets to Ukraine – CNN