Biden endorses European partners’ plan to train Ukrainian pilots in the use of F-16 fighter jets
U.S. President Joe Biden has conveyed to G7 leaders American backing for the plan to. train Ukrainian pilots to operate fourth-generation fighters.including the F-16s that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been demanding for months to reinforce his army’s capacity in the face of Russian invasion.
The White House has clarified that, in principle, the training will not take place on U.S. territory, but will take place in Europe. U.S. Administration sources anticipate that this program could begin “in the next few weeks” and last for several months.according to major U.S. media reports on Friday.
Biden had always shown himself to be reluctant to send F-16s to Ukrainebut has finally agreed to a middle ground in which the European allies could export such aircraft and also begin training. Governments such as the United Kingdom have already expressed themselves in this direction, as the British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, recently made clear when he received Zelenski.
This coalition of countries, which would also be joined by the Netherlands, will decide the details of future shipments, including how many fighters are delivered and when. “Discussions to improve the Ukrainian Air Force’s capabilities reflect our long-term commitment to Ukraine’s self-defense,” the sources have sentenced.
Zelenski has called for a “coalition of fighters.” similar to the one that previously served for Ukraine to receive tanks. For now, however, only Poland and Slovakia have taken the step of delivering aircraft, albeit of the MiG-29 type, a Soviet-era model that, according to Kiev, does not meet battlefield needs.