How quickly could Ukrainian pilots get up to speed with Western jets?


An RAF veteran says basic, “high-risk” training could fast-track personnel, mostly using simulators.

Charlotte Banks. April 28

A former fast jet pilot has explored the idea of fast-tracking Ukrainian training on Western fighter aircraft, were NATO countries to offer them.

As Russia’s invasion continues, retired Air Marshal Greg Bagwell thinks the rulebook on fighter pilot training should be torn up to give Ukraine the advantage it needs in the air, and that basic training for Ukrainian pilots could take place almost entirely on simulators.

NATO countries are considering the idea of sending F-16s and even Typhoons to support the defence of Ukraine, though it can take three to four years to train a UK fighter pilot from scratch and six months for an experienced pilot to learn to fly a new aircraft.

Video here:


  1. If the west politicians just gave a little thought about the future after 2014 Ukraine wouldn’t be I. This position and the world could have avoided all this shit.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Look we are not talking about a bunch of stary eyed kids fresh from the flight school. The UkAF pilots are well trained and combat experianced war fighters.
    In the case of the F-16 many UkAF pilots already have familarity with the plane from training with the US in Clear Skies and other NATO exercises. They may not get as much stick time as western Pilots but they have trained hard in their own tactics.
    Plus western fighters have far more automation than Soviet era fighters do. Western planes are easier to fly.
    And lastly there is a war on. Their training will not some “Gentileman’s Course that crams 2 months of traning into 6.
    There is a finite amount of Soviet air frames Ukraine will be able to get a hold of. the time tostart preparing for the transition towestern fighter is now, not in six months.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. As Marcodain has pointed out, the pilots who would be training are already experienced pilots. The training would be for the avionics and weapons systems of the western AC, not flying. If they had to be trained from the ground up, it would take about a year. Instead, dealing with experienced pilots, it would take 6-8 weeks at the outside.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This needs to be done now, without the blathering and discussions and questioning. The UA pilots will show soon enough, how long they’ll take and THEN you can continue or just kill the program.

    Liked by 1 person

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