The Ukrainian Defence Ministry has created a special structure for the integration of F-16 aircraft. Its main objective will be to ensure the continuous integration of the F-16 aircraft into the overall system of the Defence Forces of Ukraine, First Deputy Minister of Defence Lt-Gen Oleksandr Pavlyuk has announced.
"I took part in a conference with the participation of Western partners in Copenhagen (Denmark), where I presented the concept of a specially created structure under the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, whose main purpose is to organise comprehensive support for the continuous integration of the F-16 multi-role aircraft into the overall system of the Defence Forces of Ukraine," Pavlyuk said.
The programme will have two stages of deployment: "Fast Track", scheduled until the end of 2024, and "Scale-up".
The main areas of work will be:
- support and development of airfield infrastructure (air bases);
- comprehensive protection of airfield infrastructure, including air defence systems;
- selection and training of flight crews and other aviation personnel;
- support of the aircraft life cycle and logistics support;
- international communication and other legal, financial, security and administrative functions.
"Developing the capabilities of the tactical aviation of the Ukrainian Air Force, and at the same time re-equipping aviation brigades, is one of our key priorities. As of November 2023, with the assistance of foreign experts, Ukraine continues to evaluate airfields for multi-role fighters, and the first Ukrainian pilots and engineers continue training on F-16s, which began in August this year," he added.