The House version of the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that was passed Thursday night includes an amendment that would authorize $100 million to train Ukrainian pilots on how to use US warplanes.
Ukraine has been asking the US for F-15s and F-16s, but its pilots are only trained to use Soviet-designed MiG-29s and Sukhoi planes. According to Defense News, it would take about three months to train pilots to fly the F-15s and F-16s at a basic level.
The pilot training amendment was sponsored by Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), an ultra-hawk who has repeatedly called for direct US military intervention in the war. Kinzinger said the US was ready to start training Ukrainian pilots at the Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi, and possibly at another base in Texas.
“There is no doubt to me that when this war ends, Ukraine is going to have to be outfitted with western military equipment. Plus, there’s just no more MiGs left and no more MiG supplies,” Kinzinger said.
So far, the US has not sent any fighter jets to Ukraine and declined a Polish offer to transfer MiG-29s to the Ukrainians earlier in the war. But the Biden administration has shown its willingness to escalate its military aid for Ukraine despite the risk of provoking Moscow.
Ukraine is piling pressure on the US to send more advanced equipment and sent two Ukrainian fighter pilots to Washington as part of their lobbying effort.
It’s not clear if Kinzinger’s amendment will make it to the final version of the NDAA. The Senate still has to pass its version, and then the two chambers have to negotiate the final bill that will head to President Biden’s desk.
The House version of the NDAA authorizes $850.3 billion in military spending, $37 billion more than Biden requested. The Senate is looking to raise it even higher as its version would authorize $858.5 billion.
8 thoughts on “House NDAA Would Authorize Training for Ukrainian Pilots to Use US Warplanes”
Who is paying for this misadventure? Between the S-300, S-350 and S-400 these aging airframes will become roman candles with Ukraine pilots fired like beacon!
Who’s paying? Americans are! Please note the ‘defense’ budget stats which have no limit.
They’re getting ready to take it to the next level, direct confrontation between NATO and Russia. General war, global showdown is inexorable, … to these types.
Throw away more billions of OUR MONEY on another war to be lost in the end. That’s the American Way! Can’t make more jets without losing jets shot down. The MIC has a good thing going; public money for private profits.
Andrei Martyanov pointed out in his last video about Russian air capability that one of the reasons why Russia is wary in its use in Ukraine is the remaining Ukrainian S-300 systems. Despite that, Russia is doing many more sorties per day than Ukraine is, and Ukrainians are doing a handful and getting shot down by Russian air defenses and Russian pilots.
He also quoted a US CENTCOM officer as saying it gives US pilots chills to think about going up against Russian S-300 AD or Russian SU-37 aircraft. US pilots are used to bombing civilians from the air and occasionally fighting an aging Iraqi Soviet jet, if it didn’t manage to escape to Iran in the Gulf War. They haven’t fought a peer Air Force since Korea or at the latest North Vietnam, where the US lost hundreds of aircraft.
Finally, the notion that three months of “familiarization” of a US jet is going to make Ukrainian pilots equal to Russian pilots is risible – even assuming Ukraine still exists in three months, which is problematic.
US-made warplanes over Ukraine… and who is going to verify it’s not US pilots on the stick? What happens when one is shot down and the Russians capture a US pilot? This is a very bad plan, and could have disastrous consequences.
Comments are closed.