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Ukrainian pilots progress towards flight in F-16 fighter jets

The next generation of Ukrainian Air Force pilots are successfully progressing towards flight in F-16 fighter jets.

The next generation of Ukrainian Air Force pilots are successfully progressing towards flight in F-16 fighter jets.

The first 10 trainee pilots have successfully completed the Elementary Flying Training (EFT) phase of the Ukrainian Pilot Force development and training program, according to Babcock International Group.

The British aerospace and defence company is providing vital support to the pilots by supplying the program with Grob Tutor aircraft.


Royal Air Force instructors have been teaching the pilots general handling procedures, instrument flying, medium and low-level navigation, and formation flying.

“I would like to congratulate these brave pilots on completing their initial training here in the UK,” according to UK Secretary of State for Defence Grant Shapps

“Thanks to the world-renowned skills of RAF, these pilots have received some of the best training available and are now a step closer to joining the fight against Putin’s illegal invasion.

“The UK has led the way in building Ukraine’s air capabilities over the last two years, enhancing its aircraft with additional equipment, as well as being the first nation to provide long-range cruise missiles to Ukraine.

“Ukraine has been using its Air Force to devastating effect, degrading the Russian Black Sea Fleet and severely damaging its headquarters. This milestone is another step forward for Ukraine’s aerial capabilities – together with our allies we are showing that we will continue to stand by Ukraine’s side.”

The graduates will next move onto the next stage of their flight training, supported by Babcock, to prepare them for training on the F-16 aircraft, operated by other countries in the Air Force Capability Coalition including Denmark, the Netherlands, and the United States.

“Aircraft availability is crucial to military operations and our team is by the RAF’s side, ensuring the UK’s best flying instructors have everything they need to train Ukraine’s next-generation of fast-jet pilots,” said Babcock chief executive officer David Lockwood.

“As a capability partner, Babcock is proudly supporting Ukraine across land, sea and air domains.

“Congratulations to the pilots and good luck with their next stage of training.”

As part of the tripartite agreement between Babcock, the UK government and Ukrainian government, Babcock is the lead industrial partner in Ukraine’s Capability Enhancement Programme and is currently supporting the Ukrainian Navy with the maintenance of two mine countermeasures vessels following their transfer from the UK Royal Navy.

Additionally, Babcock is providing operational support to land armoured vehicles, such as Challenger 2 tanks, training Ukrainian personnel and managing vital equipment, supply chains and spares.

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