Babcock supports the next generation of Ukrainian fighter jet pilots

Babcock International Group (Babcock), the defence company, is proud to be providing vital support to the next generation of Ukrainian Air Force pilots as they prepare to fly F-16 fighter jets.

The first ten trainee pilots have successfully completed the Elementary Flying Training (EFT) phase of the Ukrainian Pilot Force development and training programme.

Secretary of State for Defence, Grant Shapps said:

“I would like to congratulate these brave pilots on completing their initial training here in the UK. Thanks to the world-renowned skills of RAF, these pilots have received some of the best training available and are now a step closer to joining the fight against Putin’s illegal invasion.

“The UK has led the way in building Ukraine’s air capabilities over the last two years, enhancing its aircraft with additional equipment, as well as being the first nation to provide long-range cruise missiles to Ukraine. 

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“Ukraine has been using its Air Force to devastating effect, degrading the Russian Black Sea Fleet and severely damaging its Headquarters. This milestone is another step forward for Ukraine’s aerial capabilities – together with our allies we are showing that we will continue to stand by Ukraine’s side.”

Babcock has supplied the Grob Tutor aircraft for this phase, including all the technical and operational support functions. Our team has ensured that the training programme was completed ahead of time and aircraft availability was 100%.

RAF instructors have been teaching the pilots general handling procedures, instrument flying, medium and low-level navigation, and formation flying.

The graduates will now move onto the next stage of their flight training, supported by Babcock, to prepare them for training on the F-16 aircraft, operated by other countries in the Air Force Capability Coalition including Denmark, the Netherlands, and the United States.

David Lockwood, CEO, Babcock, said: “Aircraft availability is crucial to military operations  and our team is by the RAF’s side, ensuring the UK’s best flying instructors have everything they need to train Ukraine’s next-generation of fast-jet pilots.

“As a capability partner, Babcock is proudly supporting Ukraine across land, sea and air domains.

“Congratulations to the pilots and good luck with their next stage of training.”

Babcock is steadfast with its commitment to providing critical support for Ukraine’s military operations.

As part of the tripartite agreement between Babcock, the UK Government and Ukrainian Government, Babcock is the lead industrial partner in Ukraine’s Capability Enhancement Programme and is currently supporting the Ukrainian Navy with the maintenance of two mine countermeasures vessels following their transfer from the UK Royal Navy.

Additionally, Babcock is providing operational support to Land armoured vehicles, such as Challenger 2 tanks, training Ukrainian personnel and managing vital equipment, supply chains and spares.

Photos courtesy Babcock