Training first group of Ukraine’s pilots on F-16s to last until summer of 2024 – Reports

Kyiv: A first group of six Ukrainian pilots will complete their training on F-16 fighter jets in the summer of 2024 at the earliest because they will have to take four-month English courses to learn technical terms, the Washington Post newspaper reported on Friday, citing Ukrainian officials.
The report said that the pilots would start training on F-16 fighters only in January 2024 and that preparation would take six months. The second group of pilots will receive training no earlier than in late 2024, the newspaper reported.
The first group consisting of six pilots makes up half of the aviation squadron and two other pilots are identified as reserve candidates, the report added.
Meanwhile, Ukraine is concerned over ongoing tensions between Kiev and its allies about “the best way” to position the forces against “a far larger, better-armed” Russian force, the report added.
In July, Pentagon’s Joint Staff Director for Operations Lt. Gen. Douglas Sims II said battlefield conditions in Ukraine were not “ideal” for the use of F-16 fighter jets, given Russia’s continued air defense capabilities.
Western allies began delivering weapons to Ukraine after Russia launched its military operation there in February 2022. Their support has evolved from light artillery munitions and training to heavier weapons. In recent months, Ukraine has been pushing its donors to provide fighter jets. Russia has consistently warned against further arms deliveries to Kiev.

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