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US begins training Ukrainian pilots for F-16 flights, - Pentagon

Nov 17, 2023

The United States has already begun training Ukrainian pilots to operate F-16 fighter jets.

This is reported with reference to the Pentagon's website.

"The Defense Department is already participating in providing training to help ready Ukrainian pilots to fly the F-16 aircraft. The US also expects to be ready to make sure spare parts are available for those aircraft," the statement said.

The department also noted that the Ukrainian military is undergoing training on F-16s both in the United States and in Europe.

The Pentagon recalled that earlier this year, the US State Department announced its readiness to approve the transfer of US-made F-16 aircraft to Ukraine by a third party. The Netherlands, Denmark, and Norway have announced their intention to supply the aircraft by withdrawing them from their own air forces.

"To ensure the Ukrainians are successful with those F-16s, Ukrainian pilots have been training in the U.S. and Europe on both flight operations and maintenance," the US Defense Department said.

According to Bill LaPlante, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, the F-16 fighters that Ukrainians will be flying could be decommissioned in a few months without spare parts. Therefore, the US plans to create a 90-day supply of spare parts for the aircraft.

"We're not going to let that happen. And just because other countries provide their airplanes, we have to make sure if they don't provide the spares that we find the spares and provide them," said LaPlante.

Author – Anastasiya Glotova, 17/11/2023

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