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Incoming air force head believes training Ukrainian pilots could affect RAF’s capacity to instruct British recruits.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Knighton said Rishi Sunak’s idea is still being worked out.

The incoming Royal Air Force chief has warned that a British proposal to train Ukrainian pilots could impair RAF training.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Knighton acknowledged that the announcement by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak – made when Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited the United Kingdom on Monday – to begin basic flight training for Ukrainians this summer has yet to be finalized.

Incoming air force head believes training Ukrainian pilots could affect RAF's capacity to instruct British recruits.

However, he told a committee of MPs on Wednesday that the new program would have no immediate impact on the number of British recruits because there are already so many RAF trainees in the system.

Already plagued by problems, the United Kingdom’s military flight training forces students to wait months or even years to complete the various phases of the study, from basic flying to training on a specific aircraft such as a fast jet to reaching the front lines.

The Defence Select Committee asked Air Chief Marshal Knighton if the Ukrainian training programme would affect RAF pilot training. In response, Air Chief Marshal Knighton stated, “We have not yet worked out the details with the Ukrainians.”

“Until we have a firm grasp on this, we cannot fully comprehend the effect it will have on our flight training system as it will require capacity.”

He continued, “However, as Secretary of State Ben Wallace has stated on multiple occasions. We must assess this since supporting our Ukrainian brothers and sisters is our top concern.

We have several individuals who have already completed the elementary aviation training program and are currently enrolled in it. So I do not anticipate any immediate impact.

Ukraine has requested military Western fast aircraft from the United Kingdom and other partners. However, the United Kingdom has stated that it will not do so at this time and instead will provide training.

As part of a “refresh” of a blueprint for the size and structure of the army, Royal Navy, and RAF. The minister of the armed forces refused to rule out the possibility of additional cuts to the armed forces.

James Heappey stated on The Take with Sophy Ridge, “I do not rule out cuts or increases.”

By the end of June, a revised version of the so-called Defence Command Paper will be released. It is intended to outline the future organization of the three services and Strategic Command.

The armed forces are under pressure to find new savings to balance the budget despite increasing security threats, a war in Europe, and the urgent need to rebuild military capability after decades of decline.

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