Pilots of the Ukrainian Air Force can master Western F-16 fighters faster than Ukraine's allies expect, and the four-month period looks realistic.
About this said Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov.
The official noted that public discussions are underway on how long it will take Ukrainian pilots to master the F-16.
"It sounds like a well-known period: after testing our two pilots in the US, it is believed that up to 6 months will be enough. I am optimistic that our experienced pilots, with their desire and aspiration, will probably fly faster," the Defense Minister said.
Reznikov clarified that we are talking about free flights, with maneuvering, at night and in pairs.
"I think it is realistic in 4 months. I think so, because we are able to surprise," the minister emphasized.
In this context, he reminded that the Ukrainian military quickly mastered the management and use of Western weapons. For example, if the standard training time for a crew of the Patriot air defense system is 10 months, Ukrainian soldiers learned in 10 weeks.
"Therefore, I am sure that the pilots will fly faster than in 6 months. However, a pilot cannot fly alone. He needs engineers, technicians, maintenance, gunners, refuelers, and so on. This is the most complex equipment. This training course is longer than 4 months... At the same time, the infrastructure needs to be prepared: airfields need to be prepared for this, shelters need to be prepared, maintenance needs to be done," Reznikov noted;