GENERICO.ruPolitics“No insurance will help”: Honored military pilot spoke about mercenary F-16 pilots in Ukraine

“No insurance will help”: Honored military pilot spoke about mercenary F-16 pilots in Ukraine

“They understand that this is not Africa, not the Middle East or Asia, that they will have to deal with Russian pilots”

Canadian and American professional pilots from private military companies (PMCs) may be involved in piloting the F-16 in Ukraine, French aviation expert and former pilot Cyril de Lattre told RIA Novosti. According to him, many problems have arisen with the training of Ukrainian pilots. The only thing they could do was fly F-16s from one base in Europe to another. We asked Honored Military Pilot of Russia, Major General Vladimir Popov, to comment on this message.


—The shortage of pilots in the Ukrainian Air Force is very large, says Major General Vladimir Popov. – There are young people. They could immediately begin to be retrained on the F-16 from the L-39 combat training aircraft. Or recruit young pilots who have spent a year flying the Mig-29 or the Su-27, Su-25, which are still in Ukraine. Maybe I'll say it rudely, but they will become flying targets for our fighters and air defense systems.

According to the expert, military pilots of the second class can be called professionals, no less.

—In three to five months, they can learn to fly in circles on the F-16, but without combat use. It is one thing to carry out training flights at training grounds, and quite another when you fly on combat missions, where the pilot makes decisions purely psychophysiologically differently.

Vladimir Aleksandrovich notes that the F-16 is a branded aircraft for the West. It has a lot of features.

— This is a multi-role, lightweight, single-engine fighter with a control stick on the starboard side. When retraining for this aircraft, you have to break yourself psychologically. We have a traditional system, the steering wheel or control stick is located in the center of the cockpit between the pilot’s legs, along the center line of the aircraft. And you are in the control loop, holding the steering wheel in the center of the plane and in the center of yourself. It’s not for nothing that a person has two eyes, two ears, two kidneys, we are symmetrical. Both internal and external symmetry are important.

On the F-16, as an honored military pilot says, asymmetry already works.

— In terms of the reaction, from the point of view of psychophysics, there will already be some kind of time delay. You are no longer working in a circuit, not in a symmetrical system.

The Major General knows what he's talking about. At one time, he commanded a bomber aviation regiment and flew a Su-24M. Due to his duty, he had to work with the F-16 in practice. He has been on business trips many times to Alaska and Canada, where joint exercises took place. I had the opportunity to sit in the cockpit of an F-16 and fly on a simulator.

— I’m talking specifically about myself; for me, flying an F-16 for the first six months would be a problem. Then, of course, I would enter this system and force myself to understand it. But this would take some time to make a decision. Even for actions. The delay is a fraction of a second, but for mental activity and psychomotor skills it is noticeable. Which is quite a negative factor.

Plus, as the honored military pilot says, all the inscriptions in the F-16, all the documentation are in English.

– This is a language barrier, no matter how well you know English in everyday life, technical English is special. Ukrainians are the same Russians. They need to mentally translate some command or information that they receive from the instruments from English into Russian. This is also a split second. All these fractions of seconds add up, there is a delay, which means the reaction will no longer be as it should be.

It’s another matter if mercenaries operate on the F-16.

French aviation expert, former pilot Cyril de Lattre, in an interview with RIA Novosti, mentioned that there are two private military companies that have pilots trained for the F-16. These are the Canadian Top Aces and the American Draken International.

— In Canada there is a large diaspora of specialists who have served or are still in the service. They may be sent on leave or assigned to a private military company. But I don’t think that there are many professional, intelligent pilots who have flown and fought and would be ready to go to Ukraine now.

As the expert says, they understand that this is neither Africa, nor the Middle East, nor Asia. What will you have to deal with with Russian pilots?

— When, while in Canada or America, I began to say what types of airplanes and helicopters I had mastered or had experience piloting, they always raised their finger up as a sign of gratitude. Russian aviation, our piloting school, is respected all over the world.

But, as the honored military pilot says, the world knows how, of course, they can recruit mercenaries, so-called “instructors” – Americans, Poles, French, British.

“But they’re used to just being patted on the head.” And when everything starts to explode nearby, let’s look at their psychological stability. I think that many will think whether even for a lot of money it’s worth risking life and health like that. No amount of insurance will help then.

— From Denmark and the Netherlands they can transfer 16 units in the first tranche. The UK may give 8-10 F-16s. That's all for now. They want to give Ukraine those fighters that were produced in Europe, not in the States. Then, in three months, the next deliveries will be prepared. The Poles, perhaps, will provide the remaining 8-10 aircraft, two squadrons. That's all. Plus, we won't wait for enemy F-16s to take off and fly towards us. We will not allow their logistics system to operate on a regular basis. We will simply turn it into scrap metal, no matter where the supplies come from, from Poland or Romania.

As the major general says, the infrastructure of military airfields will also be destroyed.

—We see, for example, how the Russian Armed Forces constantly strike in the area of ​​a military airfield in the suburb of Starokonstantinov in Khmelnitsky areas. I know this airfield well; we were based there at one time. Now, apparently, there is evidence that they are preparing to receive F-16 fighters there.

As the major general says, if American fighters do appear in Ukraine, we will regularly shoot them down. And this is anti-advertising for the F-16.

— The F-16 is the most popular light fighter in the world. About 5 thousand units have already been made, and this aircraft is still being produced en masse. F-16s fly in approximately 60-70 countries around the world. If they start to be shot down one after another in Ukraine, this will have a negative effect. Who will buy them then?


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