International Test Pilots School (ITPS) Unlocking Excellence in Ukranian Fighter Pilots

Photo courtesy of ITTC Canada.

In Southwest Ontario, Canada, the tactical training division of the International Test Pilots School (ITPS) is currently orchestrating training for two distinguished Ukrainian Air Force Officers. These officers are immersing themselves in the Fighter Lead-in Programme, a crucial step towards enhancing Ukraine’s aerial prowess. But that’s just the beginning. The Ministry of Defence (MOD) of Ukraine has extended a request to ITPS to train an additional 30 pilots, a testament to the program’s effectiveness.

The first two Ukrainian pilot instructors set foot on Canadian soil on October 2023. Since then, a partnership has flourished between ITPS and the Ivan Kozhedub National Air Force University (KNAFU) in Ukraine. This partnership, fueled by a shared vision of excellence, is poised to redefine the standards of fighter pilot training.

This strategic alliance is not merely about honing skills; it’s about securing Ukraine’s airspace for generations to come. A skilled cadre of Ukrainian pilots trained to NATO Phase IV standard will be indispensable in maintaining air superiority.

Photo courtesy of ITTC Canada.

“I am pleased to report that based on the successful program launch of the pilot instructors, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence has submitted a formal request for the training of 30 cadets at ITPS to the Government of Canada. This programme is a customized training solution available right now that will provide Ukraine with 30 much needed fighter pilots by early 2025. I ask the Government of Canada to favourably consider the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence’s request and urgently approve this training”, said David Clementi, Chief Operating Officer of ITPS Canada.

To meet this demand head-on, ITPS and KNAFU have crafted a syllabus tailored to the needs of aspiring aviators. This syllabus, comprising essential components like the Fighter Lead-In Training (FLIT) and immersive F-16 simulator sessions, is designed to seamlessly integrate Ukrainian pilots into NATO’s operational framework. KNAFU cadets are also engaged in rigorous online English language training, ensuring they are well-prepared for the linguistic demands of their training in Canada.

It should also be noted that ITPS’s commitment to excellence doesn’t come at the expense of Canada’s Department of National Defence (DND). The training initiative operates independently from ITPS’s expansive facilities in London, Ontario. This distinction underscores ITPS’s role as a beacon of innovation in aviation education.

KNAFU has expressed a keen interest in fostering a long-term collaboration with ITPS. Beyond the Fighter Lead-In Programme, discussions are underway to explore advanced training programs, including Mission Commander and Fighter Weapons Instructor Courses (FWIC). These initiatives, previously inaccessible to many, embody the spirit of mutual growth and cooperation.

Photo courtesy of ITTC Canada.

The synergy between ITPS and KNAFU isn’t just about individual excellence; it’s about bolstering NATO’s collective efforts to fortify Ukraine’s defences. By equipping Ukrainian pilots with the skills and expertise to operate Western aircraft, this partnership serves as a bulwark against external threats, ensuring Ukraine’s continued resilience in the face of adversity.

At the heart of this endeavor lies ITPS’s unwavering commitment to excellence. With a legacy spanning over two decades, ITPS stands as a paragon of innovation and expertise in flight test training. Boasting a roster of esteemed clients, including the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Australian Defence Force, ITPS’s credentials speak volumes about its prowess. ITPS Canada and its tactical training division the International Tactical Training Centre (ITTC) is a Canadian success story.

Moreover, ITPS’s recent accreditation under various regulatory frameworks, including the Canadian Controlled Goods Program and the US DoD Joint Certification Program, underscores its unwavering dedication to adhering to the highest standards of quality and security.

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