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Ukrainian pilots are mastering F-16 fighter jets using simulators as part of their military training

Training Ukrainian pilots on F-16 simulators will significantly expedite their further military preparation abroad, reported Yurii Ihnat, Spokesman for the Air Force Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

An F-16 fighter jet belonging to the Netherlands’ Air Force.
By Piroschka van de Wouw / Reuters

Simulators of the F-16 fighter jets, which Ukrainian pilots are training on, consist of virtual reality glasses, engine control sticks, monitors, computers (system units), and pedals.

“Aviation simulators are already available in almost all tactical aviation brigades, which allows pilots in the future, already with knowledge of the English language and even visual skills, to more quickly master Western fighter jets while being in Europe or the United States,” stated Yurii Ihnat, the Spokesman of the Ukrainian Air Force.

According to him, Ukrainian pilots get familiar with the cockpit of the F-16 fighter jet during their training. In addition, the simulator software has maps of Ukraine’s territory, including the temporarily occupied territories.

“Commands are given here [in a training simulator ed.] in English, which also helps. Therefore, working as part of units, in pairs, performing missions and tasks in virtual reality, this is indeed what can expedite the training process abroad,” explained Ihnat during a national telethon, as reported by Suspilne News.

A Ukrainian pilot during a simulator training on an F-16 fighter jet.
Screenshot from the Ukrainian Air Force video

Following the results of the G7 summit in Hiroshima, the United States confirmed the training of Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets and the supply of aircraft by other countries. 

Later, on August 20, 2023, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced an agreement with the Netherlands and Denmark to transfer 61 F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine: 42 will come from the Netherlands and 19 from Denmark. Furthermore, Zelenskyy informed about the beginning of military training for Ukrainian pilots and engineers.

The Norwegian government also announced its intention to provide Ukraine with F-16s.