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Media: First 20 Ukrainian pilots to enter F-16 training in UK
About 20 Ukrainian pilots will enter the first phase of training on modern fighter jets that will allegedly take place in the U.K., Foreign Policy reported on May 24, citing an unnamed British official.
“This will be ground-based basic training of Ukrainian pilots who will then be ready for more specific F-16 (or other) training,” the U.K. government spokesperson said.
Speaking at a May 23 press conference, Pentagon Press Secretary Pat Ryder said that the U.S. was still working with allies to work out the details and dates of the training, refuting earlier reports that some countries have already started it.
The U.K. and the Netherlands agreed on May 17 to build an international coalition to provide F-16s to Ukraine. On May 20, the U.S. also declared that it would join the initiative, as did Portugal, Denmark and Belgium.
While not all countries are prepared to provide Ukraine with advanced Western fighter jets, an increasing number are willing to provide training on how to pilot them. French President Emmanuel Macron said on May 15 that France has "opened the door" for training Ukrainian pilots.
Norway's Defense Ministry also announced on May 24 that it would "consider various ways to contribute to the training and education of Ukrainian personnel on F-16 fighter jets."
No details on how many jets will be provided, who will supply them, and when have been revealed yet.