The American arms company Lockheed Martin is ready to help Ukrainian pilots train and maintain their F-16 fighter jets if NATO countries agree to send them to Ukraine as military aid.
This was stated by Lockheed Martin's Chief Operating Officer Frank St. John, according to the Financial Times.
According to St. John, any decision on Lockheed Martin's participation in training Ukrainians will be made only after a discussion between Ukraine, the United States, and other Western allies.
"We are ready not only to meet the need for new F-16s but also for any F-16 modifications, as well as training, equipment, and systems," he said.
Lockheed Martin's COO specifically noted the "incredible ability" of the Ukrainian military to master Western weapons systems, including the company's GMLRS-guided missile systems and Javelin anti-tank missile systems.
"(The Ukrainians - Ed.) has been very quick to learn how to use these systems and have been using them with great effectiveness, so I am more than confident that the Ukrainian pilots will learn the F-16 and be able to use it very effectively in the shortest possible time," St. John said.
He added that Lockheed Martin may consider establishing a production base in Ukraine or a neighboring country in the long term after the war with Russia ends to ensure a permanent presence for training and maintenance.
Author - Olena Madiak, 19/06/2023