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First group of Ukrainian pilots completes F-16 training in US

According to the Politico newspaper, the pilots are now headed to Europe to undergo additional training

WASHINGTON, May 24. /TASS/. The first group of Ukrainian pilots has completed training in the United States to use US-made F-16 fighter jets, the Politico newspaper wrote citing a spokesperson for an airbase in Arizona where the training course was organized.

The number of pilots and the date when the training was completed was not specified. According to sources, the pilots are now headed to Europe to undergo additional training.

Ukraine expects to receive over 60 F-16 fighter jets from Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway.

The Arizona air base’s press service has not yet responded to a request for a comment from TASS.

At the end of January, Air & Space Forces Magazine quoted a Pentagon source as saying that four Ukrainian pilots were being trained for combat use of F-16 fighter jets in the US state of Arizona.

Earlier, US Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Celeste Wallander said that the West expects to transfer the first F-16 fighter-bombers and equipment for their maintenance to Ukraine this year. Speaking at a briefing following a regular meeting of the contact group set up by the West to coordinate the delivery of weapons and military equipment to Kiev, she noted that the program for training Ukrainian pilots to operate F-16s was going as planned.