Ukrainian pilots tested on the F-16
The United States has conducted training tests in flying F-16 fighter jets for Ukrainian pilots.
Relevant documentation with the test results of Ukrainian pilots were published by Yahoo News.
It will take only 4 months to train Ukrainian pilots to fly American F-16 fighter jets.
This is a much shorter period than what the Pentagon officials have repeatedly referred to – 18 months.
The document, shared with a number of NATO allies, contains a detailed assessment conducted in late February and early March at Morris Air National Guard Base in Tucson, Arizona, home to the U.S. Air Force’s 162nd Wing.
The tests involved two Ukrainian pilots, one qualified for the MiG-29 and the other for the Su-27, who had no formal training with the F-16, except for a brief familiarization.
Then they were tested on the F-16 flight simulator, conducting 9 activities on the simulator with a total duration of 11.5 hours.
The evaluation, written by a Lieutenant Colonel from the 162nd Wing, concluded that the Ukrainian pilots were able to perform a number of technical maneuvers in simulated conditions, such as landing an aircraft after an engine failure due to an accident. Both pilots were also able to perform simulated attacks based with parameters transmitted during the flight simulator.
The main training problem identified during the evaluation was that Ukrainian pilots were unfamiliar with the F-16’s complex avionics, which displayed information in English. Linguistic features are also cited elsewhere as a “problem”, although the evaluators say that within two weeks, both Ukrainian pilots showed a marked improvement in their English.
However, it is not surprising that the pilots of both the Su-27 and the MiG-29 were not familiar with the flights of standard American groups of aircraft, since they were trained in Soviet-era tactics.
Despite these shortcomings, the report concludes that “given the current skill set demonstrated by Ukrainian Air Force pilots … four months is a realistic training period”.
As previously reported, the UK and the Netherlands have agreed to develop an “international coalition” to help purchase F-16s for Ukraine. Poland and Belgium are also ready to train Ukrainian pilots on the F-16.
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