First Eight Ukrainian F-16 Trainees Selected


The first eight Ukraine air force pilots to train on F-16s have been chosen and it appears English fluency is a requirement. The first eight are all fluent and another 20 with some English are heading to England this month to brush up on the language. The eight English speakers are waiting for a formal training plan from the European countries that will be donating their surplus Vipers to Ukraine. The U.S. has to sign off on the training plan and it’s not clear how long the plan and its approval will take, but it might happen before the end of the month.

There are strings attached to the deployment of the F-16s. Ukraine isn’t supposed to use them to attack targets in Russia or to fly them over Russian territory. The U.S. is insisting the F-16s are to be used for defense and deterrence. There are 11 NATO countries taking part in the training effort (the U.S. is not directly involved) and the training will take place in Denmark and Romania.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. What’s the punishment if they violate said attached strings? Will we include a letter with our next $20B aid package expressing how very disappointed we are?

  2. The restriction to using the F-16’s is tying one arm behind the back of the Ukraine. The Russians no doubt have read the above article and will park its offensive weapons in Russian territory.
    Sounds like politicians during the Vietnam war picking targets.

    • Politicians leaning? Quick! Write that down for the history books!

      As to the above comment about punishment, we just won’t send them spare parts… and they will need lots of those.

  3. Notice no restriction mentioned about targets in Belarus. Where the Wagner Group is stationed, and from which many standoff weapons are air-launched at Ukraine.