The United States and its allies are constantly looking for ways to bolster the Ukrainian air force, including possible pilot training before potentially supplying Kiev with Western-made fighter jets, two top US military officials announced at the annual Aspen Security Forum in Colorado on Wednesday.
“You want to build a long-term plan on how do you build their air force and the air force that they’re going to need for the future,” the US Air Force Chief of Staff General Charles Brown said.
“There’s a number of different platforms that could go to Ukraine… It’ll be something non-Russian, I can probably tell you that,” Brown said. “But I can’t tell you exactly what it’s going to be.”
The general did not reveal any concrete plans to send jets to Ukraine, only speculating that all options were on the table including US-made planes, as well as Swedish Gripens, Eurofighter Typhoons and French Rafales.
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Brown separately mentioned a potential pilot re-training program in an interview with Reuters earlier in the day, saying that transitioning from Soviet aircraft might be “a little” hard. But he felt “pretty confident there are some of our NATO partners who have done that, can actually have lessons that they learned that can be helpful to the Ukrainians to help them figure out how to best make that transition.”