Ukraine expects the West to start supplying its air force with modern fighter jets in the very near future. Denys Shmyhal, Ukraine‘s Prime Minister, told Politico that training on how to fly fourth-generation fighters such as F-16s “should be started straight away, or as soon as possible”. He acknowledged it would take up to six months for pilots to learn how to fly them.

Air Force spokesman Yuri Ihnat said F-16s may be the best option for a multi-role fighter to replace the country’s current fleet of warplanes, which are older than modern Ukraine itself.

Currently, Kyiv is using four types of Soviet-era planes for intercept missions and to attack Russian positions.

Mr Ihnat said his pilots were confident they could quickly learn how to operate F-16s.

He told a news briefing: “The pilots are saying it is not a problem to fly the F-16, they could learn it within several weeks.

“To fight with these planes is a very different thing, to use all types of weapons.”


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