Ukrainian pilots trained on A-10 attack aircraft
By: Elena Shcherban
The TIME publication writes that a training centre for Ukrainian pilots has been operating in the U.S. since late May.
This centre is secret: a reporter was allowed in on the condition that he would be blindfolded on his way there and back, so that he would not know the exact location. And there, under the guidance of retired U.S. military, Ukrainian pilots are trained on A-10 attack aircraft. Simulators with realistic control lever, joystick and virtual reality goggles are used for this purpose.
Already on site the reporter saw posters with the A-10s and the inscription: “Keep calm and destroy Soviet tanks.” The A-10s are old stormtroopers that were used in Iraq and Afghanistan. The U.S. is thinking about transferring the A-10s to Ukraine, but a final decision has not yet been made.
“The U.S. is hesitant to supply weapons systems and training to Ukraine for fear of provoking Russia into a broader war with the West. And while the A-10 is well designed to defeat tanks, it is vulnerable in contested airspace, such as over Ukraine, where Russian aircraft and anti-aircraft missiles remain active.
In recent months, officials in both Kyiv and Washington have delayed the decision to hand over the planes.