If the Ukrainians do not approach the use of F16s as recommended by the US Air Force, we will see planes falling from the sky – says Krystian Zięć, a reserve colonel, F-16 aircraft instructor pilot and Alioth Foundation expert, in an interview with Dziennik Gazeta Prawna (one of leading Polish daily newspapers).
Ukraine is to receive dozens of F-16 aircraft from the Netherlands and Denmark in the coming months. This handover is to take place after the training of both pilots and ground crew is completed. How long does such training take?
– There is no clear answer. When Poles train in the US, there is one syllabus for all nations: Egyptians, Danes or the Poles. This is not effective, because each training should be tailored to the effects we want to achieve, it should be tailored to the specific user. Geography is very important here – the aircraft will be used differently in Poland in the context of a potential conflict with our eastern neighbors, and differently in the Netherlands, for example, where the threats are different, Col. Zięć stated.
– The Ukrainians will have to learn a great many things, I have the impression that they do not even understand what they will be up against. The Romanians, for example, bought F-16 aircraft and for a long time were not able to use their capabilities, because their level of training was very low, Alioth Foundation expert added.
As asked by Maciej Miłosz: How much impact can the delivery of F-16 aircraft have on this war?
– F-16s will completely change the paradigm of using aviation in the war in Ukraine. Because today the Ukrainians use aircraft like the British or Poles did during World War II – they make low-altitude strike flights, which carry a high risk of crashing to the ground. If the entire system associated with them is tuned and put together at a high quality level, it will make a drastic difference on the battlefield. Then the Russians will be deprived of the ability to move freely at low and medium altitudes, this will greatly complicate their operations related to the possibility of bombing Ukraine. The main task of this system will be to secure troops on land and at sea, no helicopter or tactical aircraft will then be able to operate freely. I assume that F-16s will also be used intensively as strike aircraft.
The entire interview can be read in Polish at: https://www.gazetaprawna.pl/wiadomosci/kraj/artykuly/9282097,polacy-sa-idealni-zeby-wyszkolic-ukraincow-wywiad.html