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F-16s Poised to Defend Ukrainian Airspace as Pilots Advance Training

F-16s Poised to Defend Ukrainian Airspace as Pilots Advance Training

The first group of six Ukrainian combat pilots has completed basic F-16 flight training with the British Royal Air Force and is now in Denmark for advanced drills on the aircraft, the U.K. government said Tuesday.

Ukraine will also receive the first Dutch delivery of 18 F-16 jets “within weeks if not days,” according to Forbes magazine. One of the Dutch aircraft shipment’s prerequisites was for the Ukrainian defense ministry to have enough F-16 trained personnel, Forbes noted.

The Ukrainian pilots’ RAF training started in August as one of the United Kingdom’s contributions to the international Air Force Capability Coalition for Ukraine. Aside from the basic F-16 flying lessons, aviation-specific English Language training was also programmed for the Ukrainian pilots.

Another batch of 10 pilots joined in the language training and continues RAF practical basic F-16 flight training, as well as learning other skills, like aviation medicine, the U.K. government said.

In October, Ukrainian pilots were also set to start F-16 flight training under the U.S. Air Force’s 162nd Wing at Morris Air National Guard Base in Arizona. The plan, which also included pilots’ English language training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, followed the U.S. authorization of the Netherlands and Denmark to provide F16s to Kyiv.

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