Ukrainian pilots to start training for F-16 this month, Zelenskyy says
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine. Photo: Presidential Office of Ukraine

The training of Ukrainian pilots for F-16 fighter jets will start later in August, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Wednesday.

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Speaking at a meeting with the heads of Ukraine's foreign diplomatic missions, Mr Zelenskyy confirmed the training our Ukrainian pilots on F-16 “will begin this month”.

“Now it is worth working one hundred percent with countries that have these aircraft and will be able to transfer them to us after training,” he said, adding it is a "powerful, extremely difficult" task.

“And you understand which countries we are talking about.”

In May, US president Joe Biden officially confirmed that the US military would start training Ukrainian pilots for the F-16.

Ukraine, which has long been pushing for modern fighter jets, has indicated it needs four squadrons, that is 48 F-16s, to effectively deter Russian aggression.

It is believed Romania will serve as a ground for training Ukrainian pilots for the jets, with Kyiv expecting first F-16s to arrive early next year.