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First batch of Ukrainian pilots learn to fly F-16s in Denmark after basic training in the UK

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December 26, 2023, 12:46

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According to the British government press service, Britain is conducting basic training for Ukrainian combat pilots as part of its contribution to the United Nations, which aims to improve the capabilities of Ukraine’s air force.

“The first Ukrainian pilot to be trained by the Royal Air Force has now completed his basic training program in the UK and is learning to fly an F-16 fighter jet in Denmark,” the government said in a statement.

The Royal Air Force (RAF) began conducting flight and English language training in August as part of the UK’s contribution to the International Ukrainian Air Force Capabilities Coalition, in which allies and partners work together to strengthen Ukraine’s air capabilities. The group consisted of six experienced Ukrainian fighter pilots who received aviation-specific English language training to enhance their ability to train and support coalition forces.

A further 10 Ukrainian trainee pilots will take part in language training and remain in the UK to continue their practical basic flight training, as well as learning important skills such as aviation medicine and centrifuge training.

British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps said: “I am proud of the support the Royal Air Force is providing to the next generation of Ukrainian combat air pilots and ground personnel who will be the front line of defense for Ukraine’s skies.”

He recalled that since Putin launched a full-scale invasion, Britain has helped build Ukraine’s air defenses, providing hundreds of missiles, ammunition, radars and weapons systems.

“Ukraine was extremely vulnerable to attack by Russian aircraft, drones and missiles in the early months of the invasion, but with support from the UK and its allies, the Ukrainian military has now intercepted the vast majority of incoming weapons. “Protect civilians and critical infrastructure. We are now working to ensure that Ukraine will have a modern air force in the future, built around high-performance fourth-generation F-16 fighters.” “We are going even further by ensuring that we have the capacity to carry out the necessary training. Combined with training from the world-leading Royal Air Force,” the minister said, “this is a huge step forward from Ukraine’s current Soviet-era capabilities.”

According to the British government, the program aims to give trainee pilots the skills they need to progress to the next stage of fighter training with partner nations and bring future Ukrainian pilots closer to NATO standard flight approaches. There is. Pilots who have completed a basic flight training plan will undertake practical lessons in Grob Tutor aircraft with experienced RAF instructors, covering general operating procedures, instrument flying, low to medium level navigation and formation flying. Learn.

Alongside pilot training, dozens of Ukrainian aircraft engineers are also receiving English language training for engineering subjects.

“Ukraine highly values ​​the pilot training provided by the UK and other partners to help prepare for F-16 operations in Ukraine. It is a fast and effective program for acquiring skills,” said Rustem Umerov, Minister of Defense of Ukraine.

After completing their training with the Royal Air Force, pilots will undergo advanced flight training in another European country. This will set the stage for training in F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft, overseen by Denmark, the Netherlands and the United States, who lead the Air Force Capability Coalition.

The UK will continue this support for Ukrainian pilots and ground staff in 2024.

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