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Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Greece Dispatches First F-16 Instructor to Train Ukrainian Pilots


Mon 03 Jun 2024 | 11:25 PM
Israa Farhan

Greece has deployed its first instructor to Ukraine to train local pilots on the use of F-16 fighter jets, according to a report by Defence-Point.

This move underscores Greece's extensive experience with the US-made aircraft and its commitment to supporting Ukraine amid ongoing tensions.

During a NATO summit in Lithuania last July, several member states, including Belgium, the UK, Denmark, the Netherlands, Canada, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, and Sweden, formed an F-16 coalition.

This coalition pledged to deliver dozens of fighter jets to Ukraine and provide necessary training to its pilots. In August, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that Greece had joined the coalition, committing to train Ukrainian pilots.

Defence Point's exclusive report revealed that a member of the Greek Air Force has already arrived in Kyiv. 

Greek pilots bring decades of experience with F-16 warplanes, having engaged in close air combat with neighboring Türkiye, which can greatly benefit their Ukrainian counterparts.

In related news, Ukrainian MP Oleksiy Goncharenko claimed on Friday via X (formerly Twitter) that the first group of French instructors is en route to Ukraine.

Earlier this year, French President Emmanuel Macron suggested that NATO should consider the future deployment of its troops to Ukraine, a statement later clarified to refer to non-combat personnel.

Bloomberg reported that President Macron has been quietly working to establish a coalition that is willing to send military personnel to Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that the deployment of Western forces to Ukraine would escalate into a serious conflict in Europe and potentially a global confrontation.

Commenting on the anticipated arrival of F-16 jets in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov noted that this action signals NATO's involvement in the nuclear sphere. 

Developed in the 1970s, the F-16 is utilized by NATO member states as a nuclear-capable platform.

Putin previously emphasized that introducing these jets would not alter the course of the conflict despite Kyiv's expectations.