Ukrainian Pilots Graduate from RAF Elementary Flying Training

United States Military Academy and American Military University Alumni. Victor covers flash military, intelligence, and geo-political updates.

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Update (0830 EST): The United Kingdom Ministry of Defense has confirmed that these pilots will complete their F-16 certification in France.

Thee United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force has announced that ten Ukrainian pilots have graduated from Elementary Flying Training, qualifying them for the F-16 training which is to be provided by the French Air Force. This is the first batch of UK-trained F-16 pilots to graduate the complete pilot program.

Secretary of State for Defense, Grant Shapps said:

I would like to congratulate these brave pilots on completing their initial training here in the UK. 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 United Kingdom trains its military pilots through the UK Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS) which comprises a pipeline made from Elementary, Basic Fast Jet, Advanced Fast Jt, Multi-Engine, and Rotary Wing schools. According to the UK, these Ukrainian pilots will receive the more advanced jet training from the French Air Force to qualify fully on the F-16. The Durch and Americans have also publicly recognized they are training Ukrainian pilots on the F-16. The squadron location and aircraft for each program read below:

Elementary Flying Training

  • No. 57 Squadron (RAF Cranwell) – Grob Prefect T1
  • No. 674 Squadron AAC (RAF Barkston Heath) – Grob Prefect T1
  • 703 Naval Air Squadron (RAF Barkston Heath) – Grob Prefect T1

Basic Fast Jet Training

  • No. 72 Squadron, RAF Valley – Beechcraft Texan T1

Advanced Fast Jet Training

  • No. 4 Squadron (RAF Valley) – BAE Hawk T2
  • No. 25 Squadron (RAF Valley) – BAE Hawk T2

Multi-Engine Training (including Rear Crew training)

  • No. 45 Squadron (RAF Cranwell) – Embraer Phenom T1

Rotary Wing Training (including Rear Crew training)

  • No. 60 Squadron (RAF Shawbury) – Airbus Juno HT1
  • No. 202 Squadron (RAF Valley) – Airbus Jupiter HT1
  • No. 660 Squadron AAC (RAF Shawbury) – Airbus Juno HT1
  • No. 670 Squadron AAC (RAF Shawbury) – Airbus Juno HT1
  • 705 Naval Air Squadron (RAF Shawbury) – Airbus Juno HT1