Fifty Ukrainians have already completed training to maintain F-16 fighter aircraft, Danish Air Force Commander Jan Dam told TV2, adding that most of the Ukrainian specialists went home to prepare for receiving the first aircraft.

At the beginning of this week, it was announced that about 20 Ukrainian pilots will be trained by the end of the year. In addition, 100 Ukrainians will be trained to perform auxiliary tasks. These are mechanics, weapons specialists, and ground personnel for Ukrainian air bases.

“We have now completed the training of the first 50 people, most of whom have gone home to help prepare for the first fighters. We will begin training the next 50 immediately after the summer holidays,” Dam said.

He also noted that the first group of pilots is not yet fully prepared.

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“We are not quite ready yet. But the first pilots are already very close to readiness,” said the commander.

He said that too much hope should not be placed on the aircraft.

“There’s a lot of hope for these fighters. And we probably need to be more realistic. The F-16s will certainly have an impact, but they won’t be a game-changer. Not this month, not in the coming months,” Dam said.

He emphasized that for the aircraft to be effective in the battlespace, it is necessary to strengthen the Ukrainian Air Force long-term, have the right ammunition and adapt to complex combat missions.

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“My recommendation to Ukrainians: before embarking on risky missions, they need to become well-versed in the use of these aircraft. And this is exactly what I am talking about with the commander of the Ukrainian Air Force,” Dam said.

According to official data, the first of 19 Danish F-16s will be delivered to Ukraine in the summer. However, the commander of the Danish Air Force did not disclose exact dates.

“For reasons of operational security, I cannot say anything more precise. But I expect that the schedule will be respected. And that you will be informed when the aircraft are ready in Ukraine,” he said.

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