‘Promising, English-speaking pilots.’ US aircraft in Ukraine?

KYIV ($1=36.92 Ukrianian Hryvnias) — Since the middle of this year, BulgarianMilitary.com has reported that Ukrainian pilots are being trained in the USA. Time magazine also later confirmed the news, even publishing a video of Ukrainian pilots training on an A-10 simulator.

Dogfight! F-16V Viper versus J-39E Gripen: Who Wins?
© Photo: Trond Høyvik, Bodø hovedflystasjon

A month earlier, BulgarianMilitary.com again reported that $100 million was approved for training Ukrainian pilots. This money was passed into law by the United States House of Representatives and entered the US fiscal year 2023 defense budget.

Amid this news, speculation about sending US fighter jets to the war in Ukraine has intensified. Amid the news that the US is considering the delivery of the A-10 attack aircraft, the spokesman of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Yuriy Ignat, said that his country needs much more modern aircraft. “In particular, these are American F-16, F-15, or F-18 multi-role fighters with certain modifications or their European counterparts,” he said.

It is known that the US will retire the A-10 Warthog sooner or later. In July Frank Kendall the Secretary of the U.S. The Air Force announced similar intentions, as a few months earlier, it was not thought at all that the planes would be donated to Ukraine. Yes, but also in July, Kendall along with Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Charles Q. Brown was already of the opinion that the old American air systems were a possible option for Ukraine.

Ukrainian pilots 'already fly' the A-10, but on a simulator
Video screenshot

But it’s not just the A-10. The political circles in Washington are clearly divided, as the idea of ​​sending F-15s or even F-16s to Ukraine has been discussed for at least a month and a half. Yes, there is a division, because if some politicians are firmly in favor of sending F-16 to Eastern Europe, others are firmly against it. The fact is this: discussions about whether to fly the F-16 to Ukraine are still ongoing.

Perhaps soon we will find out if Ukraine will get Western aircraft, most likely American. Perhaps the answer is hidden in one of the last interviews of the chairman of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Yuriy Ignat.

Ignat commented to Ukrainian television that a dozen Ukrainian pilots have already been identified who can immediately be transferred for training. “We just need to decide which combat aircraft the partners would be willing to provide us. These pilots are young, promising, fluent in English, with combat experience,” Ignat said.

Yes, the interview does not give a clear answer whether Kyiv will receive American fighters, but apparently, the Ukrainians are optimistic, having already selected which Ukrainian pilots to train.

Optimism also comes from a recent interview with Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov. “I’m optimistic that Abrams tanks are possible in the future, and I’m sure that fighters like the F-16, F-15, or Gripen from Sweden will also be possible,” he said in a recent interview.


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