Ukraine set sights on new jets; pilots train in the US: Ukrainian Air Force

BYVALIUS VENCKUNAS

Ukraine has decided which type of new combat aircraft it will acquire, has allocated funds for training on the new planes and sent military pilots to the United States for training, the Ukrainian Air Force has revealed.

The information was announced by Yurii Ihnat, the spokesman for the Air Forces Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in a speech during his television address, according to Ukrainian media.

“Our military pilots visited the United States, funds for the training of our pilots were allocated… That is, the aviation topic has never left the agenda. The type of aircraft likely to be provided to Ukraine and the corresponding training terms were already determined,” the Ukrainian Military Center quoted Ihnat as saying. 

“We asked to give Ukraine such weapons as a multi-purpose aircraft back at the beginning of the invasion by the Russian Federation. This is understandable, as without aviation, without reliable aviation cover, it is very difficult to conduct any military action at all,” Ihnat reportedly added.

Previous reports have stated that Ukrainian pilots are training to fly NATO aircraft in the US, although these have still not been confirmed. In July 2022 the US House of Representatives authorized and allocated funds for the training, and the UAF announced it was selecting pilots for the task. 

A controversial issue

Provision of the Western-made jets still remains a heavily contested issue. 

While several countries claimed they would be able to agree to supplying Ukraine with aircraft such as the Lockheed Martin F-16 and Saab JAS 39 Gripen, no concrete steps have been taken towards the transfer of the aircraft.

Even the provision of Soviet-made aircraft and their parts has run into problems, and while there have been reports about some deliveries, they remain unconfirmed.

Experts have said that hesitation from countries to supply Ukraine with modern aircraft was due to a fear of escalating the conflict, among other things, and has resulted in Ukraine having to make do with a significantly underpowered air force.

“The expectation in Washington is that the war will be over before any F-16 are transferred to Ukraine, and they’re able to integrate them into their air force. How this all plays out still remains to be seen,” Former US Ambassador to NATO Kurt Volker explained in an interview with AeroTime.

(C)AEROTIME.AERO 2023

8 comments

  1. Biden thinks the war will be over before the F16 are delivered. I hope so but only fools plan on HOPE. What an idiot. If I ran my businesses on HOPE I’d be broke. Our pilots should have started training in the tanks and jets last year when this war started. Biden and his staff are morons!!!

    • And its more leading from behind I believe. Pressure on Scholz made him pressure Biden and here we are. Also to his credit Biden said Putin would invade long before he did, but it was just barking and he didn’t send much help until Ukrainians put up a fight with their bare hands and started chewing through ruzzian helmets because they had no ammo.

    • Sure, you can call Biden who has those SS-18 Satans which were built in DNIPRO, Ukraine aimed at him a moron. But if we are talking about poor planning, let’s rewind this a little bit and look at all the facts shall we?

      Russians are stupid and I don’t think they could have built that stuff without Ukrainian help. And now you want our help. I see. Well, maybe just keep your insults to yourself …

  2. It is getting better and better.
    I think the war could indeed be over before: I guess it will end this summer.

    My expectation is a counteroffensive to Melitopol recapturing the landbridge and destroy the bridge to isolate it.

    Then slowly bleed Crimea with longer range missiles and drones.

    This will I think increase the domestic pressure on Putin.

    • I hope you’re right Sir Bert but I don’t think poopin will stop until Ukraine gets long distance missiles and I’m afraid Ukraine may have to make those themselves.

  3. “The expectation in Washington is that the war will be over before any F-16 are transferred to Ukraine, and they’re able to integrate them into their air force.”

    We heard similar arguments I think 7 months ago. If Biden hadn’t made such ridiculous claims back then, and did the right thing, the F-16s (or F-15s, A-10s) would be well integrated into the Ukrainian military by now and killing orcs and their material every day. But, this is the same guy who made our exit from Afghanistan into a total fiasco, a worldwide embarrassment.

What is your opinion?