Ukraine is losing its best military pilots while waiting for the F-16, according to Ukrainian Air Force Commander General Serhiy Golubtsov in an interview with the British ‘Times newspaper. According to him, Ukrainian pilots can master Western aircraft in months.
He refuted NATO officials’ statements that training may take years.
Golubtsov used two of his subordinates who had recently returned from the United States as examples.
The two pilots spent three weeks learning how to fly and utilise weapons on an F-16 simulator in the United States. The General claimed that Ukrainian pilots could learn to fly and manage weapons systems on the F-16 in less than six months.
The Ukrainian Air Force chief complained about antiquated equipment and NATO delays in supplying Western weapons, particularly F-16 jets.
Earlier, US President Joe Biden said in a televised interview that transferring F-16s to Kyiv makes little sense in the current crisis context.
Even Poland, Ukraine’s closest friend in the region, encouraged the country not to rely on many F-16s. Pawe Szrot, Secretary of State and Chief of the President of the Republic of Poland’s Cabinet, stated on March 9 that his country would be unable to supply Ukraine with many F-16 aircraft.