A European Coalition to train Ukrainians to fly f-16s

The semi-formal coalition of European countries is aiming to enable Ukraine to operate U.S.-built F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters, both by training Ukrainian pilots and eventually supplying the aircraft. The U.S. has agreed to participate in the training program, making it increasingly likely that Ukraine will get the F-16 jets it has lobbied for. 


Two coalition partners, Belgium, and the Netherlands, are willing to train Ukrainian pilots on F-16 simulators and fly actual F-16s. Leaked documents suggest four months of training could be realistic for experienced pilots to become proficient in minimal required tasks. 


The Biden administration has studied the possibility of giving F-16s to Ukraine but has not formally committed to doing so. The U.S. will provide F-16s to Ukraine, with Ukrainian pilots trained and ready to operate them soon after delivery. 

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The introduction of Ukrainian F-16s in 2024 could disrupt Russia's risk-averse modus operandi, but Ukrainian pilots believe they could accomplish a lot by combining guerilla air warfare tactics with Western fighters with the reach to fight back.

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