Ukrainian Pilots Will Start Flying F-16s by the End of 2024
U.S. Defence Ministry spokesperson Major General Pat Ryder said in a press conference on January 4, “I expect by the end of this year we will start to see those pilots graduating.” He emphasized that it takes five to eight months to complete the training, depending on each pilot’s skill level.
Ukrainian pilots and mechanicians learned English to receive training, and their training is distributed among NATO countries. In addition to the United States, Ukrainian pilots undergo or will undergo F-16 training in Romania, Denmark, France and the United Kingdom. The Netherlands and Norway also agreed to supply their aircraft to support the Ukrainian Air Force.
It is unclear when the first F-16s will arrive and become operational in Ukraine.
Earlier on Thursday, Belgium confirmed it would send two F-16 fighter jets and 50 training personnel to Denmark from March to September to support the training of Ukrainian pilots.