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Czech Republic Hands Over First F-16 Fighter Jet Trainer to Ukraine

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Photo: Czech Republic Hands Over First F-16 Fighter Jet Trainer to Ukraine. Source: Ukrainian-Air-Force
Photo: Czech Republic Hands Over First F-16 Fighter Jet Trainer to Ukraine. Source: Ukrainian-Air-Force

Czech Republic has handed over the first F-16 fighter jet trainer to Ukrainian military for pilot training in handling these aircraft. It has already been delivered to one of the tactical aviation brigades of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and its main module is currently being tested and prepared for operation by specialists, as reported by the Ukrainian Air Force.

"Thanks to everyone who helps Ukraine strengthen its aviation component. Besides the F-16s themselves, we need to create a powerful training and material base for our youth. I call on our allies to join this initiative," said Commander of the Ukrainian Air Force Mykola Oleksyuk.

Currently, Ukrainian pilots can practice controlling F-16 fighters and use the standard armament of these aircraft in static simulator mode.

"The pilot can clearly feel where the controls are, where he is during the flight, and what signals he receives during the mission," said Alexander Dyakiv, representative of the Training Command of the Ukrainian Air Force.

The next step will be installing hydraulics and a training cockpit so that pilots can conduct training dynamically and feel the loads as they would in the cockpit of a real combat aircraft.

It is worth noting that until now, Ukrainian pilots underwent training on real F-16s and their simulators exclusively outside Ukraine. This includes the military airbase in Fetesti, Romania, where the European F-16 Training Center opened in November 2023.

As reported, this base has become an international hub for F-16 pilot training. Romanian pilots, as well as pilots from allied and partner countries, including Ukraine, will be trained there. The Gaze reported that Romanian President Klaus Johannis approved the training of about 50 Ukrainian pilots on F-16 aircraft on Romanian territory.

Also, in late December 2023, it was reported that the first group of Ukrainian pilots completed basic F-16 control training in the Royal Air Force of the United Kingdom and began learning to control these fighters in Denmark.

It was also announced that in early 2024, France would join the training of Ukrainian pilots on Western fighters. This will be the initial training provided by European partners, as reported by the Ministry of Defence of France, which has been providing military assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion.

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