A Ukraine pilot said flying 'awesome' F-16s is like upgrading from an old Nokia to an iPhone

A Ukraine pilot said flying 'awesome' F-16s is like upgrading from an old Nokia to an iPhone
  • A Ukrainian pilot training to fly F-16s said it was like upgrading from a Nokia to an iPhone.

  • He said the jets were "awesome" but had more complex electronic systems than Soviet-made jets.

  • The first F-16 fighter jets should be delivered to Ukraine this summer, according to Denmark.

A Ukrainian pilot said that transitioning from old Soviet-made planes to Western F-16s is like upgrading from a Nokia to an iPhone.

The pilot, with the call sign "Moonfish," is one of six being trained to use the fighter jets at the Skrysdtrup base in Denmark.

"It's a really awesome jet to fly," he told Ukrainian government-backed platform United24.

He said that while the F-16s are "much easier to fly" for pilots, it has been a challenge adapting to the more advanced electronic systems on the aircraft.

He compared it to transitioning from a basic phone "like a Nokia, straight to an iPhone, without all those steps in between."

Moonfish said the jet was more "agile" than the MiG he flew before, adding: "It feels like the jet wants you to fly it more aggressively."

In July 2023, a coalition of countries led by the US, Denmark, and the Netherlands formed to help train Ukrainian pilots and transfer F-16s to the country.

The first F-16 fighter jets are set to be delivered to Ukraine "this summer," Denmark's Defense Minister, Troels Lund Poulsen, said Thursday.

Poulsen said Thursday it was "difficult to set a fixed schedule for the delivery of F-16s" as the handover depended on Ukrainian pilots and support personnel being fully trained and the establishment of various logistical infrastructure to service the aircraft in Ukraine.

The Netherlands, Norway, and Belgium have also pledged F-16s to Ukraine. Denmark one of the countries, along with the US, the UK, France and Romania, that train Ukrainian pilots.

The total number of F-16s Ukraine could receive is as many as 60.

Ukraine had the right to hit 'Russian military targets outside Ukraine'

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy looks up while sitting in an F-16 fighter jet
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy sits in an F-16 fighter jet.Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images

Kyiv has long argued that it needs fighter jets to make substantial military progress against Russia and has pushed allies to deliver the pledged F-16s as soon as possible.

According to the US Air Force's website, the F-16 Fighting Falcon "is a compact, multi-role fighter aircraft" used in air-to-air and air-to-surface combat.

The 49-foot-long aircraft can carry two 2,000-pound bombs, two AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, two AIM-120 advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles, and two 2,400-pound external fuel tanks. It is further equipped with one M-61A1 20mm multibarrel cannon.

It can fly more than 500 miles when conducting air-to-surface operations.

The F-16, armed with long-range missiles, could significantly increase the potential range of Kyiv's strike capability.

In an interview this week with Radio Free Europe, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Ukraine had the right to hit "Russian military targets outside Ukraine" in line with international law.

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