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Ukraine's pilots training as fast as they can to be ready for F-16s

New video shared on X by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy shows his country's pilots under accelerated training to fly F-16s.
Ukraine's pilots training as fast as they can to be ready for F-16s
Posted at 8:46 PM, Feb 23, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-25 17:35:31-05

Select Ukrainian pilots and technicians are currently working overtime to master the ins and outs of the F-16's advanced system.

This new video shared on X by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy shows his country's pilots training at Denmark's Skrydstrup air base.

Training for these jets typically takes at least 8 months for new pilots — but time is not on Ukraine's side, and training has had to be accelerated.

"The duration of the training that we are going through is really short compared to any country training for the F-16 in peacetime, it really takes a lot, lot more but we all are motivated to go back to Ukraine and start fighting on those jets," said a Ukrainian pilot with the callsign "Moonfish."

SEE MORE: US will support training of Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighters

The F-16 has proven to be a step up for Ukrainian pilots, who are used to flying older, less advanced aircraft.

"It is a really super fun jet to fly," Moonfish said. "I'm not saying that MIG that I flew before is super boring, but the F-16 is definitely more agile."

One Ukrainian technician in the video said at first, the F-16's system seemed 'incomprehensible' and 'unrealistic' for Ukraine — but throughout training, he realized the aircraft's efficiency and the advantage it will provide.

Ukraine has been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the F-16 since last July, when the U.S.,Denmark, and the Netherlands announced an international coalition to bolster the Ukrainian Air Force.

Having the F-16 in its arsenal will allow Ukraine to strengthen its air defenses and fend off Russian planes attacking Ukraine's front-line soldiers.


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