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Austin: Framework For UKR F-16 Training Developed In Coming Weeks


US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley have briefed the press following the conclusion of the 12th meeting of the Ukraine Contact Group.

  • Austin: "...allies and partners discussed plans for training Ukrainian pilots of 4th generation fighter aircraft, including the F-16."
  • Austin says executing training will be a "significant undertaking" and Dutch and Danish counterparts will work with US forces to develop a training framework, "in the coming weeks."
  • Milley: "Recently we have seen Ukrainians use the US Patriot Missile System to great effect. These systems have been instrumental in protecting Ukrainian skies and bolstering Ukrainian defence."
  • Milley: "It's another example of Ukraine leveraging the tools provided by the international coalition... from anti-tank weapons like Javelins... to Patriots today... and we will soon see the same with F-16s."
  • Milley pushes back on suggestion that the US should have moved on F-16s earlier: "...for Ukraine to contest Russia in the air it would need a significant number of fighter planes which will take "a considerable length of time," and F-16s are not a "magic weapon."

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