As part of recent talks, the Prime Minister has boosted the UK’s training offer for Ukrainian troops, including expanding it to fighter jet pilots to ensure Ukraine can defend its skies.

The training will “ensure pilots are able to fly sophisticated NATO-standard fighter jets in the future”.

As part of that long-term capability investment, the UK will work with Ukraine and international allies to coordinate collective support to meet Ukraine’s defensive needs.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s remarks at the press conference in Dorset alongside Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky are as follows:

“Volodymyr, now your visit here today underlines our two countries’ close and enduring friendship – we will always be by your side, our staunch and unwavering friends. We both know the people of Ukraine’s incredible strength and inspiring bravery will ultimately defeat tyranny. That is why we are training and arming them with the equipment they need to push back Russian forces.

And as I said to you earlier today, we are also accelerating the delivery of our equipment, and the equipment of our allies, to ensure it reaches your frontline in the coming days and weeks, not months or years. The Ukrainian crews who arrived last week will be using Challenger 2 tanks to defend Ukraine’s sovereign territory next month.

And I am pleased that today we have agreed that we will expand our training programme – a programme that has trained 10,000 troops in the last six months alone – to your marines and fighter jet pilots, ensuring the Armed Forces of Ukraine are able to defend their country for generations to come.

We must arm Ukraine in the short term, but we must bolster Ukraine for the long term. Your country cannot be left vulnerable to attack ever again.

Today we have signed the London Declaration, further deepening our cooperation, and in the coming days,  we mark a year since the needless and unprovoked invasion, and Russia will see – more than ever – that their tactics are only solidifying western resolve. Only convincing us to go further, and faster, to help you, Volodymyr. And we will. After all, you told me last week that collective, international unity is your greatest weapon, and you can be sure that we will deliver on that, not just now, but long into the future.”

Avatar photo
George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also previously worked for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

122 Comments
oldest
newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
RobW
RobW
9 months ago

Bit of a head scratcher that after the recent news on our training program. Does this mean the issues are resolved or that the RAF/FAA will see even fewer trained pilots coming through?

Ian M.
Ian M.
9 months ago
Reply to  RobW

I suspect it’s more tactics and doctrine than flying training, using NATO tactics in an All Arms fight.

Jim
Jim
9 months ago
Reply to  Ian M.

I suspect it’s pretty much the usual spin and lies from Rishi. Offer to train Ukrainian pilots when they can’t even train enough of our own. Ask the MOD to open its cupboards then don’t give them any money for replacements all cause rishi recons knocking a penny of income tax just before the election might win him something.

Sean
Sean
9 months ago
Reply to  Jim

🥱

Sean
Sean
9 months ago
Reply to  Clive

I think the Ukranians looked at getting some of their pilots trained in the USA. There are training companies there with their own F16s – which I find incredible. But apparently it was too big a job even for them 😳

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
9 months ago
Reply to  Jim

I presume most if not all training will be done on simulators. According to a former Tornado pilot the first 4 weeks of training is done that way before they even set foot in a plane and indeed it is almost identical to the real thing.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
9 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

My gut feeling is that as the Ukrainians have an excess of trained pilot over aircraft available a mix of pilots will be sent over a few with sufficient experience to actually provide as much to us in tactics and strategy as they learn. Employing and adapting their experience to NATO standard aircraft will be invaluable no doubt in influencing future training.

Sean
Sean
9 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Yes confirmed, on simulators.

Zen Blas
Zen Blas
9 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

These are not New pilots with NO previous training. But pilots with more COMBAT time then ALL the “Former Tornado Pilots put together
🙂

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
9 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Think he consulted with Ben, if I recall?

Richard Graham
Richard Graham
9 months ago
Reply to  RobW

I do just wonder how many BAME / Female potential fast jet pilot candidates Ukraine has? 🤔

David Barry
David Barry
9 months ago
Reply to  Richard Graham

You too funny!

Richard Graham
Richard Graham
9 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Unlike the AVM in charge of RAF recruitment and her positive discrimination “diversity targets”. Still it was very nice of you say; many thanks David.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
9 months ago
Reply to  Richard Graham

Spot on Richard. The poor lady resigned over the issue. That idiot AVM is still in post making excuses.

Mark
Mark
9 months ago
Reply to  Richard Graham

too funny, and too correct sadly.

Aaron L
Aaron L
9 months ago
Reply to  RobW

I’ve noticed a lot more T2’s coming up on ADSB, has anything been said about the engine issues?

Mark
Mark
9 months ago
Reply to  Aaron L

Nah, those blades are fine when they are piloted by our Slavic brothers….

Jon
Jon
9 months ago
Reply to  Aaron L

They are back in the air, but the problem is likely to persist for the next three years. Flight Global.

Marked
Marked
9 months ago
Reply to  RobW

He’ll be thinking it’s a cracking way to save paying for training our pilots. Fill up slots with ukraines pilots instead.

Last edited 9 months ago by Marked
Mark B
Mark B
9 months ago
Reply to  RobW

I thought the actual flying was going to be done abroad rather than in the UK. Surely the Ukrainians can tag along & the UK will simply pick up the tab?

Sean
Sean
9 months ago
Reply to  Mark B

It’s training in flight simulators.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
9 months ago
Reply to  Mark B

There is a large choice of NATO aircraft here in the UK plus flight simulators to train on. RAF Lakenheath has F-16s/F-15E and many other types as an example.

I’m sure the US would loan the UK one or two for familiarization if you catch my drift!

JohninMK
JohninMK
9 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

No F-16 are based there. Only F-15 and F-35. Doubt they have F-16 simulators either.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
9 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

See above.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
9 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Are there F-16s in the UK?
The 48th Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath, Suffolk is currently hosting 14 F-16 Fighting Falcons of the 510th Fighter Squadron (FS) ‘Buzzards’.20 Mar 2022

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
9 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Aah so both F-16 simulators and F-16s at Lakenheath who’d have thought eh. I see why there are rumours about. As I say elsewhere the experience on offer from Ukrainian pilots working on Western simulators would surely be an offer too good to refuse and jointly beneficial in terms of cross fertilisation of skills, strategy and tactics surely. .

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
9 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Plus, some ideal training here in the UK!

Flying a Fighter Jet Over 500mph Just 250ft Above the Ground! | Fighter Pilot: The Real Top Gun

LINK

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
9 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Already suggestions the US has been training Ukrainian pilots here on the QT, might be wishful thinking mind. No idea if F-16s could be around without public knowledge either as that would be the obvious platform but familiarisation of western systems in F-15s seems more likely but again simulators would be the likely route at this stage and I understand that internationally linked simulators between UK and US at Lakenheath have existed since 2021 which though aimed primarily at F-35 joint training can work for F-15 and yes F-16s too.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
9 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

I know the 48th is stationed at Lakenheath flying the F-15 Eagle, F-15 Strike Eagle, and more recently, F-35A Lightning II.

The F-16s have clearly departed, for now, more’s the pity!

Posted on the 17 Jan 2023

F-15 and F-16 take-off action at RAFF Lakenheath

LINK

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
9 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Designed and built in thirty-six months, by Saab & Boeing. Let’s hope Aeralis arrives in double quick time.!

US Testing its Brand New Advanced Boeing Aircraft

LINK

David Barry
David Barry
9 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

All I can add is personal observation. It very busy above my shop in Grasmere as they run into Spadeadam.

Very BUSY.

Vics of 3 is one thing, but, of 6!?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
9 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

USAFE or RAF?

David Barry
David Barry
9 months ago

Both. Although, far more F15s coming over than tiffies AND a tonka! Couldn’t see the markings.

Sean
Sean
9 months ago
Reply to  RobW

Apparently it’s training in simulators that can be configured to match different aircraft hence Sunak’s comment about “NATO standard fighters”.

Last edited 9 months ago by Sean
Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
9 months ago
Reply to  Sean

Exactly.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
9 months ago
Reply to  RobW

Agreed, but fascinating none the less. The Drive* – Warzone (* wonder if the headline site name too off-putting? It was for me for a long time) gives a pretty informed & balanced look at this as usual, including input from Ukrainian pilots.
Not to be conflated with Zelensky’s final comment! but who can blame him?

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
9 months ago

Just give em all the typhoon T1s while there at it and the rest of the challengers not being upgraded, not like our armed forces going to afford to have them.

Aaron L
Aaron L
9 months ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

At least we wouldn’t have to pay to scrap them if we did that.

Marked
Marked
9 months ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

He will be planning that, saves having to even consider paying to upgrade them. Anything to avoid spending on defence.

Steve
Steve
9 months ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

Careful what you wish for, as I suspect that might just happen.

BAe said this week that is was technically possible to upgrade the t1s and keep them in service, which I thought might have meant maintaining the numbers but this news makes me wonder otherwise.

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
9 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Just a dig at gov, it’s actually incredible to see how our armed forces operate and the crap the service personnel have to put up with just to serve. Really puts them to shame, in a way we are lucky that Russia is the way it is otherwise how bad are the cuts going to be? Even all that ruckus over losing Tier 1 status hasn’t bothered him one bit, makes us the only tier 3 nation with nuclear weapons.

Steve
Steve
9 months ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

Tiers of armed forces are in the end nonscense, unless there is ww3 /total war. Armed forces have to be measured based on the conflict they are sent to and then it gets complex, as some nations are better at certain types of conflicts than others and vice versa for others. I suspect we would cope better with a naval war than France, but they would do better on a land war, which is better you won’t know until the war happens. If your taking land war then the question is where it happens, if we were to fight in… Read more »

Steve
Steve
9 months ago
Reply to  Steve

It’s basically a game of top trumps

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
9 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Its all for show yes but it’s a good indicator of where we are numbers and capability wise. What’s the point of having something flashy when the numbers just aren’t there a good example is queen Elizabeth class, never in this climate will we be able to ever run it at it’s full capacity and they wanted 2!! I’d say in naval terms we are pretty much on par with the French bar the odd exception both ways. Land wise we are always going to be a bit part player and rightly so for an island but planned numbers are… Read more »

Last edited 9 months ago by FOSTERSMAN
Steve
Steve
9 months ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

The logic of 2 carriers is always having one available. You can’t predict a war and if your only carrier is in maintance when it hits then your stuck. Falklands would have been a lot harder without a carrier, had ours been in maintance or the planned cuts had already happened

Graham
Graham
9 months ago
Reply to  Steve

We took 2 carriers to the Falklands Conflict.

Steve
Steve
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham

We did due to their small size. The QE are designed to operate solo, and individually can carry more planes than the 2 combined.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  Steve

True. However there is also advantage in having a second asset in-Theatre in case you lose one (breakdown or enemy action).

Jonathan Charles Agar
Jonathan Charles Agar
9 months ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

Issue with the Air Wing for the Carriers has been hidden due to various problems. Its been Hidden behind cost and getting the lower Tranche F35s. Truth is its been the failure of the training of suitable pilots, firstly by the replacement of the training fleet, then the Pandemic which had caused the program to slip some 18 months. time to train a f35 pilot was then pushed out to 2,5 years. last full count was we had 14 approved pilots. 5 new just finishing there training the 5 on QE now. single flight is 8 aircraft and needs 10… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
9 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Totally right loads of Countries out there who are tier 4 to 8 or however low it goes that we couldn’t beat in a land war as Afghanistan proved but then neither could Russia or the US and Mali recently threw France out because they were not happy with their contribution. We could probably punch above our weight against anyone ….for a few days maybe weeks but after that numbers in the field would win out. Fact is not one Country in Europe could for all our derision survive long against Russia in a conventional war even if we were… Read more »

David
David
8 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

We would just revert to conscription if we needed, but taking a 100% selfish German Sholz Stance, for the UK to be threatened they’d have to go through Poland Germany France and then they would still fail because of logistics and the channel. As it stands Russia can’t take Ukraine and they are next door to each other. But any country that isn’t rethinking defence now is certifiable.. So that’s France and Germany I guess.. Finland Baltics Poland & Ukraine Sweden Norway all have their number and so should we. However, I would suggest that when we talk about what… Read more »

Sean
Sean
9 months ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

We haven’t lost Tier 1 status 🤦🏻‍♂️

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
9 months ago
Reply to  Sean

Personnel wise we are the cream but how long can they keep hiding behind nuclear weapons when Putin can just change the rules. It’s comical to think that even if the Russians used a “small” nuke in the Donbass that we would respond with a full nuclear barrage. A good deterrent is a strong military with actual numbers that won’t take years to deploy, they even admitted last week whenever it was the the air force has more planes than pilots and the British army are 5 years away from being able to deploy a full fighting division. That’s why… Read more »

Sean
Sean
9 months ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

NATO wouldn’t need to resort to a full nuclear barrage in response to Putin using a small nuke. Indeed it hasn’t said what the response would be, only there there would be. Would you rather have an air force with more planes than pilots, or more pilots than planes? Either way the lower number (either pilots or planes) dictates how many can be airborne at any given moment. So it’s a rather spurious argument. Am pretty sure if needed, the army could deploy tomorrow. Wouldn’t be perfect, some kit would be considered too old or less than ideal for the… Read more »

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
9 months ago
Reply to  Sean

To the bean counters more planes than pilots is an excellent avenue to make more cuts, expensive assets sitting around are ripe for the chop. I get Ukraine is sending trained pilots but we are really struggling here. You still need fresh crew, parts and a jets for the 2nd carrier- maybe not 1×1 on F35 but after a heavy deployment most are going straight to RAF marham for full maintenance, especially so with the reliability rumours with them. Otherwise your robbing Peter to pay paul and the rotational deployability of the 2nd is in doubt look at the Albion… Read more »

Last edited 9 months ago by FOSTERSMAN
Sean
Sean
9 months ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

That’s a silly remark. I doubt the Treasury even knows or cares how many ship, planes, or tanks we have, it’s not it’s responsibility. The Treasury’s remit is balancing the government’s finances. In most cases it simply gives a big pot of money to the MoD and allows it to decide how to spend it; what gets bought, what gets cut, etc. Operationally the RAF will prefer more aircraft than pilots. That way, if a plane is lost the pilot – who hopefully ejected – will still have something to fly. As I recall in the Battle of Britain, it… Read more »

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
9 months ago
Reply to  Sean

That was the crazy operational doctrine of ww2 get shot down in the morning and then back up again after a quick tea and biscuit, however get shot down abroad and your getting burned alive in a tiger cage. As what was announced the RAF today cannot field it’s full squadrons due to shortages of pretty much everything, it’s okay to have more pilots than planes when you can field a complete squadron otherwise the make do strategy today will quickly unfold in a peer on peer fight. F35 is a classic example of what we don’t have enough of,… Read more »

Paul Barrett
Paul Barrett
9 months ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

There was no crazy doctrine at all in the BoB RAF pilots shot down would generally be flying over British land etc. Therefore if they baled out successfully and weren’t injured they could be ready for more sorties the same day So nothing crazy about that at all. Conversely if Luftwaffe aircrew baled out over Britain they would become PoW for the duration. Baling out of a stricken aircraft can ve quite traumatic I would imagine a baled out RAF pilot would get the day off. Invariably he’d have to await the following day for a new aircraft to be… Read more »

Sean
Sean
9 months ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

Do tell me how many pilots downed over Europe in the last tend years have been burned alive in a tiger cage. I suspect zero. Really a “crazy operational doctrine”? I’m sure the pilot who had to eject from his F35 during CSG21 is flying again and he didn’t have to wait for another being delivered from LM. If you’d bothered keeping up, you’d know the bulk of the UKs F35 purchases are planned after Block 4 is delivered to avoid having to make costly upgrades. Why would we want to maintain continuous carrier operations anyway? We don’t even have… Read more »

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
9 months ago
Reply to  Sean

You do realise pilots can spend something like 10 years training NOT to get shot down, especially in combat conditions as the stress on the human body going supersonic can be catastrophic. That pilot was lucky to have been over the carrier so recovery was swift, over open water hundreds of miles away from help I’d say chances are low. The RAF is capable of flying outside of Europe you know especially over the last 30+ years where we’ve been at war one of which a pilot was burned alive in a cage. You can be glad that he wasn’t… Read more »

Sean
Sean
9 months ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

Yes, not only are pilots more valuable than aircraft but they they take far longer to replace (ie train). Exactly why we should have more of them available than aircraft. Thank you for proving my point. Please do update me then on how many RAF have been burnt alive in tiger cages ANYWHERE in the last 19 years. Pretty sure it’s still a big fat zero. (Though why you raised this ridiculous scenario in the first place I have no idea – I’m guessing to deflect away from the other things you were demonstrably wrong about.) Yes I think we… Read more »

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
9 months ago
Reply to  Sean

I never one said planes are more valuable than pilots??? That was made up wasn’t it, all I’ve said is we don’t have enough of them to actually fully man the required amount of squadrons. We need more planes and we definitely need more pilots which can’t be trained quick enough because of the current shambles in recruitment and training. It’s an absolute fantasy to expect pilots to be shot down and then go and jump in another jet, it doesn’t happen. My point was IF a pilot is downed over hostile territory they ain’t coming back for Christ sake.… Read more »

Last edited 9 months ago by FOSTERSMAN
Sean
Sean
9 months ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

I didn’t, you’re befuddling yourself! 😆 Did I say pilots having been shot down should jump straight back into a plane? No I didn’t. More of your 2+2=89 befuddlement. The term “fast jets” is not a term I’d apply to the Tu-95 bomber. But even their jet powered bombers have been too frightened to fly over Ukraine. The Ukraine war has shown how easily fast jets can be frightened out of the skies by half-decent air-defences. Terror campaigns are overrated. London was hit by 9,000 V1 cruise-missiles, and 1,000 V2 ballistic missiles. Had zero impact on the outcome of the… Read more »

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
9 months ago
Reply to  Sean

I think you need to take a few tablets and chill my man, comments like only a few thousand deaths in a scenario is not okay. Just because at that point we were pretty safe in regards to the outcome doesn’t translate in today’s world, a good bombing run over London and we would be done believe me. Ukraine has been able to take these hits because it’s thought about putting in infrastructure and have enough equipment in depth to sustain these hits. We lose a few jets and tanks and it’s over, cannot be replaced.

Fen Tiger
Fen Tiger
9 months ago
Reply to  Sean

You are correct in that the inaccurate V1 and V2 did not affect the ultimate outcome of the war. However a vast amount of effort was required to counter them, effort which could have been better employed in prosecuting the war on mainland Europe. Civilian morale in my bit of South London was not high. And, as the ‘Street V! Spotter’ during the School Holidays in Summer 1944, I was there’.

Sean
Sean
9 months ago
Reply to  Fen Tiger

But I suspect the Germans wasted disproportionately more of their scarce resources building the damn things.

Impressive stuff!! 🙇🏻‍♂️

David Barry
David Barry
9 months ago
Reply to  Sean

And that is part of the problem. The Army will always stand up and lean into harm’s way.

It’s what we did and what they will do.

(Shakes head and moves away).

Jacko
Jacko
9 months ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

Well I am sure as always IF the shit hits the fan the first forces after the cousins that NATO will be screaming for are ours warts and all!

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
9 months ago
Reply to  Jacko

That’s what genuinely sets us apart from the rest of Europe is our ability to project at very short notice, even if it’s only a battalion or a dozen tanks.

Graham
Graham
9 months ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

I think you are making the point that we no longer have tactical nukes?

Graham
Graham
9 months ago
Reply to  Sean

How is Tier 1 defined?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  Sean

Anyone know how Tier 1 is defined?

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
9 months ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

Interesting out of interest what tier are Pakistan, Isreal, India and North Korea in, never really thought about it before.

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
9 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

If we’re playing the game then this is quite a tricky one to measure, since all nuclear powers but in my opinion. India=tier -1 Obviously immense population, so has numbers in every department tanks, aircraft and navy. However probably over reliant on russian tech and its own national industry does struggle with its designs, but huge space power. Given -1 due to lack of global deployments and industry. Israel= +1.5 Probably the most heavily defended nation on earth, has huge army and air force. Major strengths are it’s reserve system ability to counter strike at a moment’s notice and in… Read more »

Graham
Graham
9 months ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

Do we have a good definition of these Tiers anywhere?

Heidfirst
Heidfirst
9 months ago
Reply to  Steve

there is a difference between technically possible & cost effective …

Steve
Steve
9 months ago
Reply to  Heidfirst

For sure, but my reaction when I heard the statement was that BAe was saying it because some agreement had been done in the background and would be announced at the next defence review that is due sometime this year.

Mark B
Mark B
9 months ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

I wonder if all the Tornados have been turned into razor blades yet?

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
9 months ago
Reply to  Mark B

Didn’t they have to scrap them, as opposed to maintaining a ghost fleet because we are signed up to some weapons convention and didn’t want to be a threat to Russia?

David
David
9 months ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

I think the Germans also had a field day with our Tornadoes for spare parts but I had thought about that idea idea too; the Typhoon T1s bantered about have no ground attack capability but Tornado was made for it.

David Barry
David Barry
9 months ago

I think we should have done this from 2014, as Graham has said, we just didn’t look far enough into the future.

Q.
Has our own programme been resolved? If so, when??

Tranche 1 tiffies with which load out?

Do we need German permission?

Can we send them tomorrow? 😉

Joe16
Joe16
9 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

I’ll try and answer them all… No recent news, but I doubt that it can have been resolved if it’s been such a long running issue. I’ve heard that the bottleneck for us is OCU, where trained fast jet pilots transfer over to train on the airframes they’ll fly operationally (I think that’s what it is, at least). The earlier bits are doing fairly well. If that’s the case, then it’s the availability of the high end operational airframes for conversion training and the training staff, I’d expect. Typhoons may be relatively easy to get hold of, but F-35s less… Read more »

Marked
Marked
9 months ago

That’ll help, maybe 10 year before they get their first pilot since we can’t even train our own. Does this gormless muppet live in a different universe to the rest of us?

john
john
9 months ago
Reply to  Marked

Yes he does in fact.

Fedex
Fedex
9 months ago

Realistically what planes could we give them? Looks like we might be planning to potentially keep the Typhoon T1’s and upgrade them. Any old Tornado’s still kicking about?

Aaron L
Aaron L
9 months ago
Reply to  Fedex

May not be us providing the aircraft, could be another NATO partner and we’re just providing basic fast jet training and then they can move onto type training with whichever country is going to provide the jets. There have been rumours knocking around a while that there are already Ukrainian pilots training in the US. Whether this is true or not, who knows. I’m sure we will find out soon. This could also be a build up to some sort of big potential announcement of more aid around the anniversary of the conflict at the end of the month from… Read more »

Fedex
Fedex
9 months ago
Reply to  Aaron L

We not better buying more of what they are already trained on and get them to them? I guess though that it is the additional capability that they are looking for not just more of the same.

Aaron L
Aaron L
9 months ago
Reply to  Fedex

It’s a potential but, the Polish sent them a load of Mig-29’s early on in the war.

Don’t know the state of their pilot training programme but, I can’t imagine they’ve been training many new pilots over the past year so they may be in a position now where they need a batch of new pilots added to their system.

Hardly the safest place over there right now to be training pilots.

DRS
DRS
9 months ago
Reply to  Fedex

Ignoring Typhoon/Tornado due to having to get permissions from other countries and complexities / time to train. Would Hawks be of any use? Much simpler training needs then. Could we buy some back from countries we have sold them to? The only issue is do they have radar and missile warning, and how many missiles/types we could hang off them.

DRS
DRS
9 months ago
Reply to  DRS

potentially buy back from Indonesia, Malaysia, Saudi.

Joe16
Joe16
9 months ago
Reply to  DRS

We don’t need permission to export Typhoons as far as I’m aware- otherwise Germany would have blocked our sales to Saudi Arabia years ago!
If it’s going to be a UK airframe, then its T1 Typhoons for my money. If not, then I’ve no idea what we might try and dig out from Europe…

julian1
julian1
9 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

Germany did block sales to Saudi, not batch 1 or 2, but batch 3. There is a hope the Saudis will still order 48 more

julian1
julian1
9 months ago
Reply to  Fedex

No Tornados but I do wonder could we take any of the Saudi ones which are at least up to date? Also, did 100 SQN stand down? I wonder if 100 with its Hawk T1s could train Ukrainian pilots to the standard where they can then go on to the F16?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
9 months ago
Reply to  julian1

Yes, I think 100 has already disbanded.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
9 months ago

Its not even April 1st and the government are cracking the funnies, or is it!!. This could be a ploy by the government to argument the fast jet training programme with extra money from the treasury along with money to convert the T1 Typhoons all under the umbrella of supporting the Ukraine. If so, I take my hat off to them, if not it will be a sick joke as we are promising the struggling people of Ukraine with aid that we cannot deliver. One option would be to get the pilots who “volunteered” to train Chinese’s pilots to “volunteer”… Read more »

Nick C
Nick C
9 months ago

It should be excellent news, provided that we can deliver what we promise. I suspect that our lords and masters are now going to find out what everyone else knows already, we don’t have enough aircraft, those aircraft don’t have spares, they probably can’t use all the modern weapons that the Ukrainians want because we have accepted capability gaps, and after SDSR 2010 there aren’t enough instructors. And after Zelensky’s visit yesterday the idiot Johnson stated that we should send 100 Typhoons and 100 Challengers immediately, because that is where they are needed now. He apparently spent most of his… Read more »

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
9 months ago
Reply to  Nick C

Unfortunately you are right, I just wonder which planet our leadership is on as they have systematically gutted our armed forces and yet still have no idea what we have and what we do not have.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
9 months ago
Reply to  Nick C

He didn’t state we should sent them all. He said the uk has around 100 typhoons and over 100 challenger 2. To quote: We have more than 100 Typhoon jets. We have more than 100 Challenger 2 tanks. The best single use for any of these items is to deploy them now for the protection of the Ukrainians – not least because that is how we guarantee our own long term security. He is kind of right that we need to help Ukraine end this war as soon as possible and every supporter should send the best kit for the… Read more »

Nick C
Nick C
9 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Thanks for that. I was quoting from the Times report, which read “ he (Zelenskyy) was supported by Boris Johnson, the former pm, who called on Sunak to send 100typhoon warplanes and 100 Challenger tanks. Johnson said “ the best single use…..etc as you said in your post.
It just shows even the fourth estate can mangle things when they want!

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
9 months ago
Reply to  Nick C

I got that quote from the telegraph (not me usual rag). The truth is probably somewhere in between. 😂

TypewriterMonkey
TypewriterMonkey
9 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Nail on the head.

Sean
Sean
9 months ago

Just wondering if to speed up deployment to Ukraine by reducing training, whether it’d be possible to arm QF-16s – old F16s that are reconfigured to fly as remote controlled drones.

Drones have also been supplied to Ukraine previously, so NATO could argue its not escalating things as it’s not donating manned jets…

Lordtemplar
Lordtemplar
9 months ago

Confusing for 2 reasons
1. I thought RAF had issues training its own pilots explaining the recent talk of outsourcing it to a 3rd party.
2. Most importantly, what are they training them to operate? Combat theory? Each plane has its own specifics specs/limits and combat systems. Seriously doubt flying a Mig 29 qualifies a pilot to operate an F35 and its systems.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
9 months ago

Slightly off-topic but possibility relevant. “Italy may be considering the procurement of additional Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft, consortium partner BAE Systems disclosed in late January. In a written response to the UK parliamentary Defence Select Committee submitted on 23 January, the company said that Italy is reportedly considering acquiring new Eurofighter aircraft in response to the retirement of the Panavia Tornado, and potentially to replace its early model Eurofighter Tranche 1 fleet. The Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare Italiana: AMI) fields 94 Eurofighters, of which 26 (16 single seat and 10 twin seat) are Tranche 1 standard. It also fields… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
9 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Equally interesting is a four-year gap between ordering new Typhoons to the first delivery of four years with a warmed-up production line.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
9 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Will be a nice little production run for new Typhoons if it happens with Germany, Spain and possibly Italy and the UK ordering 40 odd each. Wonder if this will affect the UK Tempest scheduling and investment?
Four year seems a long time, can’t they look at trimming that down a bit? Put in ann additional assembly line, 24 hour shift, working on the weekend, work faster?….lol. 😎

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
9 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

The Head of BAE Systems quoted the timeline at a Defence committee hearing prior to Christmas.

If we placed the order given they are still building them for Qatar, for years would see the first RAF Typhoon roll off the production line.

They are waiting for a “Note” on the cost of upgrading T1s.

Tempest is still going ahead, so these would be a stopgap until they take over the role of Typhoon in the mid to late 2030s.

Either way, it’s positive news!

Rob
Rob
9 months ago

I may be wrong but isn’t the Hawk fleet currently grounded with engine issues and isn’t our own pilot training ridiculously slow? Yes we can give them some simulator time but it is really only the US that could train a large number of pilots rapidly and it would make sense to give Ukraine a relatively cheap, multi-role aircraft and that means F16.

Jon
Jon
9 months ago
Reply to  Rob

It was reported as being back in the air at the end of last month.

Andrew
Andrew
9 months ago

I wonder if Aeralis aircraft would be the perfect fit? I think they’ve been featured on UKDJ before. Essentially modular training planes to replace the Hawks and one of the specifications is a ‘light fighter’ and an unmanned version. They must be nearly ready to go into manufacturing and would be a much cheaper way to supply Ukraine than Eurofighter or F16

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
9 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

I think that modular aircraft only works in the CEOs head. Hard enough to make one aircraft work never mind changing it. The testing alone will be massive. If it has 5 versions of wings, engine, cockpit, electronics configurations its basically 5 different aircraft. Weight shifting, centre of gravity moving. The airframe will need to be strong enough for the heaviest version which will be over weight for the lightest version. Maybe they know something others don’t but until I see it flying and changing modes like they say I don’t believe it’s viable. The uk can’t even fund a… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
9 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

I know what you mean but at least some of the claims for it are reflected in the US new trainer programme Red Hawk, ease of maintenance and certainly the the idea of easily adapting it into a light fighter for the client. We will see no doubt as you say what comes of the Aeralis programme.

AlexS
AlexS
9 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

That is nothing new, lots of training aircraft can be transformed in “light fighter” M-346, TA-50 etc even the Bae Hawk had a version with radar.

Andrew
Andrew
9 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

We shall see indeed, I’m not pretending I know anything more about the programme than anyone else. But on the face of it it may be a cost effective way of getting a decent number of aircraft to Nato standards to Ukraine

AlexS
AlexS
9 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

So you think an aircraft that is a power point at moment can be ready in time to supply Ukraine?

Andrew
Andrew
9 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

It has already had years of development and the covid vaccine has shown that when the government really wants something quickly that usually takes many years then it can be done. I suspect if wartime like measures were taken then production could begin next year

Jon
Jon
9 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

It would be an interesting exercise to try. We don’t take sufficient risks in bringing on new technology. What if we tell them do it, and do it now? I don’t think we have peacetime procurement procedures in place to achieve this, even if we ignored the necessary oversight and regulatory approval (could that be waived if it’s not to be flown in UK controlled airspace). Possibly the lessons learned by the MoD would be every bit as valuable as the production lessons.

Last edited 9 months ago by Jon
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
9 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

I forget who it was, but someone here tracked down “Aeralis” “HQ” which was a 3 bed terraced house somewhere in Suffolk???! 😆

Mark
Mark
9 months ago

Entertain me here, we are YEARS behind on the training of our own pilots, but here we are about to train the Pilots of another country as if by magic, how does that work then ??

Ron
Ron
9 months ago

What NATO aircraft could the Ukraine get? Typhoon trenche 1 possible but with Germany, Spain and Italy having go no go that would take time. Gripen possible but Sweden has none spare. F-16 a maybe, however there are two types of aircraft that NATO nations are removing from active service that could be useful, the Harrier and the Warthog with a top cover of the NATO Migs. There seems to be 46 Mig 29s, 32 Su 22s, 7 SU 25s and 29 Mig 21s within NATO. So if Ukranian pilots recieved NATO training and giving the Harrier and Warthog as… Read more »

Graham
Graham
9 months ago

Sunak articulates great passion for defending Ukraine but none for defending our own country.