The Netherlands is working with Denmark and the United States to start training Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16 fighter jets later this summer.
This was announced the day before in his Twitter account by the Dutch Minister of Defense Kaisa Alllogren. The statement was made after talks with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and the International Contact Group of 50 countries working in the military supply sector to Ukraine.
Austin himself said on Friday, May 26, that in the coming weeks the United States will work with the Netherlands and Denmark, which are leaders in the program, to develop a framework for training Ukrainian F16 fighter pilots.
The head of the Pentagon also said that Norway, Belgium, Portugal and Poland have already offered their assistance in the training program, but they are also waiting for representatives of other countries.
According to the commander of the armed forces of the Netherlands Onno Eichelsheim, training will begin with about a dozen pilots. The pilots to be trained will be selected by Ukraine. Most likely, these will be people who already have experience in flying MiG-type fighters.
“We want to slowly but surely bring in more pilots, but we can’t start with too many. We also need to know what material we are working with.” – emphasized the commander.
He added that training takes a lot of time, and emergency training does not make sense, since the F-16 is complex and takes months to master.
The Dutch commander emphasized that in order to participate in the training, Ukrainian pilots would probably also have to learn English.
Previously EADaily reported that the first phase of training Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16 fighters will be held in the UK. At the same time, Kyiv intends to use these combat aircraft to escort ships.