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Due to Aging Aircraft, the USAF Has Delays For Up to Two Years to Start Pilots Training

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The T-38 Talon / All photos: U.S. Air Force
The T-38 Talon / All photos: U.S. Air Force

New training aircraft should solve the problem, but they will be delayed for at least two years

The US Air Force has problems with the delay in training new pilots, which is primarily related to the outdated fleet of the T-6 and T-38 training aircraft: this conclusion was made public by Deputy Chief of Staff General David W. Alvin, as the Air and Space Forces Magazine reports.

Due to Aging Aircraft, the USAF Has Delays For Up to Two Years to Start Pilots Training, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
The T-38

As Olvin notes, due to problems with the condition of the training aircraft, the delay in the start of the training of new pilot officers can reach up to two or even more years.

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For example, while in general the training program for pilots or fighters is estimated to last up to two or more years, due to problems with the fleet of training aircraft, pilots have to wait from 18 to 24 months just to start training.

Due to Aging Aircraft, the USAF Has Delays For Up to Two Years to Start Pilots Training, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
The T-6 Texan

Thus, in the 2024 budget request, the USAF wants to receive $12.6 million to support the safety and maintenance of T-38 aircraft and another $11.3 million to modify the T-6.

The new training aircraft should radically solve this problem, but recently it was reported that the new T-7 Red Hawk will be delayed for at least 2 years, and this is actually the reason why that the service is forced to direct funds to obsolete jets.

Due to Aging Aircraft, the USAF Has Delays For Up to Two Years to Start Pilots Training, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
The Boeing/Saab T-7 Red Hawk / Credits: Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

The service is also experiencing a shortage of pilots: although the US Air Force currently has enough pilots to fit all the cockpits, at the same time there are not enough of them for other positions where their experience might be needed.

They suffer primarily due to the fact that they are the "last in the queue": first they fit the cockpits of combat aircraft, then training and test cabins, after that management positions and finally all other positions where specialists with experience are also needed.

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