Western countries are working on supplying F-16 fighter aircraft to Ukraine and flight training for the country's military personnel. There is no clear plan yet for the organization of the training process, but the UK and Denmark may start training pilots in the near future.
A training centre is planned to be opened in Romania. The US military will probably be involved in the process. We note that, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, called the transfer of F-16s to Ukraine a threat to the Russian Federation in the nuclear field.
The main problem is that, Kiev's Western allies have not yet agreed on a plan to train Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16 fighter jets.
The start of training cannot begin, among other reasons, because the U.S. State Department has not yet formally approved the transfer of training materials and flight simulators. They are now subject to export restrictions.
However, due to current restrictions, the Czech Republic has provided Ukraine with flight simulators. This information was conveyed by the official representative of the Office of the Ukrainian President, detailing the transfer of this training equipment to the aviation personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
During a demonstration of these flight simulators, President Zelensky of Ukraine showed how these devices could train Ukrainian pilots, and operate an American fighter aircraft without the need for the actual aircraft. According to representatives of the president's office, "this innovative technology will allow pilots to become intimately familiar with all aspects of the modern model in the air, with a special focus on its impressive combat capabilities."
Additional reports reveal that, President Zelenski took a hands-on approach by testing the simulator himself in a flight simulation. However, of the 30 Ukrainian pilots who have trained on the simulator, only 8 meet the required standards. This deficit is attributed to the fact that, the majority of the pilots of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are not proficient in English.
Czech flight simulators
While specific details about the type of flight simulators the Czech Republic is supplying to Ukraine remain unknown, it is worth noting that the Czech Republic has a distinguished reputation for its delivery of flight simulator technology. In fact, the country is recognized for its continuous promotion and improvement of these systems.
For example, the innovative F-15E fighter simulator, a joint creation of Vrgineers and Razbam Simulations, has been touted as a potential substitute for actual aircraft flight, according to the company's press release. The immersive capability of the simulator, achieved with the help of 4K displays, is a standout feature.
The company further emphasizes that, the training simulator is lightweight and can be assembled in just 30 minutes, making it a versatile, practical tool. Its portability is another notable feature, facilitated by Vrgineers' Portable Trainer and XTAL3 VR headset, coupled with Razbam's F-15E software model.
The manufacturer's vision is to ensure wide access to this simulator for all pilots. They predict that, this goal can be achieved by 2030. The compact size, light weight and mobility of the simulator are features that could allow both future and current F-15 pilots to train directly from their homes. All they need to do is connect the simulator interface via a secure VPN.
The Vrgineers envision their product as a user-friendly, practical tool capable of inspiring almost anyone to become an F-15 pilot. However, experts and F-15E instructors warn that a simulator, may not be able to replicate the sensation of speed.
The F-15E model also incorporates the innovative TALON AI, an AI co-pilot capable of performing tactical tasks such as target lock and navigation.
As a reminder, another training centre is planned to open in Denmark. A European coalition of 11 countries, led by Denmark and the Netherlands , is working together to set it up. Supposedly, these countries will start training Ukrainian pilots in August. However, none of the countries have yet to publicly announce the allocation of fighter aircraft to Ukraine.