There were no complaints about the conditions for basing the F-16 in Ukraine, – Ignat on joint flights with the United States
Ukrainian pilots had the opportunity to fly the F-16. These were joint flights of Ukraine and the United States in Mirgorod.
They passed in 2011. The speaker of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel Yuri Ignat, spoke about this in an exclusive interview for Channel 24 .
Ukrainian pilots have already flown F-16s
Ignat said that in 2011, before Euro 2012, American pilots flew F-16s to the airfield in Mirgorod for Safe Sky training. In particular, there were two-seat training and combat aircraft, the so-called “sparks”.
Our pilots could fly them with the Americans. This is called a familiarization flight. American pilots in the air handed over control to our pilots. The same procedure was done for guests on our “sparks”. There were no complaints about the conditions for basing F-16s at our airfield at that time,” the speaker noted.
In addition, in 2018, Americans flew to Starokonstantinov to study “Clear Sky”. This time on F-15C Eagle fighters.
“We carried out air battles between MiGs and Sushki against F-15s, watched how everything works, how it is possible to counter Soviet aircraft, realizing that the Russians already have modern Su-35s, Su-30s,” Ignat said.
According to him, the Americans imitated these threats to Ukrainian pilots, worked out complex scenarios.
“The pilots also mutually tried their hand at familiarization flights. It was a powerful exchange of experience, which is now very useful,” the colonel added.
How long does pilot training take?
Ignat said that the training of pilots and engineers is a very difficult issue.
“These are two main and key issues that may not be a short-lived and deterrent. A pilot can fly away in 1-2 weeks, but learning how to effectively use all systems and weapons is another matter,” the speaker explained.
He added that the plane is designed to fight on it, and the pilot must learn how to do it.
Until six months, our pilots will probably be able to master all types of weapons. The Air Force selected the most capable pilots with knowledge of English. They have combat experience, hundreds of flight hours, desire and optimism, and so on. These are young pilots who will have the prospect of further service, – said the colonel.
According to him, there is an individual training program for each pilot. However, the training of engineers is also very important.
“Dozens of people daily serve one aircraft before and after departure, as well as ongoing maintenance work, repairs. Visually, American and Soviet aircraft seem to fly anyway, but inside the system they differ significantly,” Ignat said.
The speaker of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine summed up that this is not an easy process.