Training of Ukrainians for fighter jets will start immediately


France plans to immediately train Ukrainian pilots and mechanics for the promised Mirage fighter jets, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday after talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Paris.

“The priority is to immediately start training pilots and mechanics. This will start in France in the coming days,” Macron said at the Élysée Palace in Paris.

Macron has not yet specified how many Mirage jets France and other countries plan to hand over to Ukraine, which is under attack by Russia.

France still needs to finalize the number of aircraft it will deliver itself and finalize discussions on the joint initiative, which started with partner countries several months ago.

Macron announced the delivery of the fighter jets the evening before.

The Mirage 2000-5 aircraft are primarily designed for air defense and can also be used to deploy the French-British Scalp/Storm Shadow cruise missiles supplied to Ukraine.

In any case, the French Air Force plans to phase out the jets by 2030 and replace them with modern Rafale jets. France has 40 Mirage 2000-5s, and this type of aircraft has also been exported to other countries.

During Zelensky’s visit, it was also decided that the French-German defense company KNDS would in the future produce grenades and spare parts for Caesar weapons in Ukraine.

Macron also announced further deliveries of Scalp cruise missiles and a fund totaling €200 million ($216 million) to support the Ukrainian economy. Specifically, companies looking to invest in the country’s critical infrastructure will benefit.

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