Ukrainian pilot training in the UK and France

Ukrainian pilot training in the UK and France

Find out how Ukrainian pilots are being trained in the UK and France to master Western fighter jets, marking a significant step forward in their preparation.

Initial training in the UK

On March 22, ten Ukrainian military pilots completed their basic training in the UK, supervised by Royal Air Force instructors, to learn to fly Western fighter jets. This initial stage included flight, ground and language training, designed to prepare pilots for more advanced instruction. The emphasis on general aircraft handling, low-level navigation and advanced formation flying, as well as learning English, underlines the importance of communication and interoperability within NATO forces.

The initial training of Ukrainian pilots in the UK is part of an international collaboration to support Ukraine in its defense effort. The pilots have received comprehensive training covering not only the technical aspects of flying, but also communication in English. The latter is essential, as it ensures smooth cooperation with the air forces of NATO member countries, facilitating joint operations and international missions.

The choice of the United Kingdom as the starting point for this training is strategic. Royal Air Force instructors are renowned for their expertise and ability to impart advanced aeronautical skills. The training provided includes flight simulations, theoretical courses on flight mechanics, and practical exercises designed to improve pilots’ responsiveness and adaptability in different flight situations, particularly in advanced training and low-altitude maneuvers.

Ukrainian pilot training in the UK and France

Further training in France

After the UK, pilots will continue their training in France, where they will undergo advanced flight training before specializing on the F-16. This progression in learning reflects a structured path towards mastering the skills needed to operate effectively in international contexts and meet today’s security challenges.

The transition to France for further training underlines the importance of a unified European approach to security challenges. In France, Ukrainian pilots will receive specific training on the F-16, the aircraft chosen to modernize the Ukrainian air force. This training will include more technical and tactical aspects relating to the use of this type of aircraft, considered a central element of Ukraine’s air defense strategy.

International support and implications

Although the UK does not operate F-16 fighter jets, the country’s commitment to training Ukrainian pilots demonstrates its support for Ukraine in the face of the Russian invasion. Statements made by Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Defence, underline the excellence of the training provided by the RAF and the importance of this cooperation in strengthening Ukraine’s capabilities. The initiative is part of an international program to equip Ukraine with modern air assets, with the first delivery of F-16s scheduled for summer 2024, marking a significant strengthening of its air force.

This training is a crucial step in strengthening Ukraine’s armed forces, enabling them to become more effective and interoperable with NATO allies. Investment in these skills reflects a long-term strategy to secure the region and counter current threats, while strengthening international ties and military cooperation.

War Wings Daily is an independant magazine.