This doesn’t pass the smell test…

he U.S. House of Representatives has passed its version of the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, which, most notably, calls for funding to start training Ukrainian pilots on American fighter jets. The amendment follows repeated calls from Ukrainian officials and pilots for new aircraft, such as F-16s, with which to continue their efforts to repulse the Russian invasion.

So far, the U.S. government has been reluctant to provide Ukraine with fighters, and plans to transfer examples of Soviet-era jets from other NATO allies have also failed to materialize, except for weapons and spares.

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However, should the amendment become law, that could open the way for Ukrainian Air Force pilots to start training on U.S.-owned jets, which would, in turn, be a prerequisite for Kyiv receiving American-made fighters, from whatever source. The War Zone, too, has in the past made the case for spinning up a training program for Ukrainian personnel as soon as possible, as you can read more about here and here. Bearing in mind the fact that it may very likely take a while longer to secure the aircraft themselves, it clearly makes sense to get a training pipeline set up in advance of potential future deliveries.


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