Poland delivers MiG-29s to Ukraine

Poland wants to deliver some MiG-29 aircraft to Ukraine in the short term. It will be about the beginning Four combat ready aircraft. More devices may follow later. Slovakia is also considering supplying some MiG aircraft to Ukraine.

The Polish Air Force’s MiG-29s will be replaced in a few years by South Korean KAI FA-50s and American F-35s. Since its establishment in 1991, the Ukrainian Air Force has several dozen MiG-29 aircraft. This makes it easier to use Polish devices.

Polish President Andrzej Duda explained the delivery during a press conference with visiting Czech President Pavel in Warsaw. “Initially, within the next few days, we will hand over four aircraft in full operational condition to Ukraine – I remember. The remaining aircraft are currently being maintained and prepared and will be handed over gradually,” Duda said.

Polish MiGs take part in Frisian Flag exercise in 2018 – probably the last © Leonard van den Broek

The Polish Air Force still has a squadron of MiG-29s, with probably twenty operationally usable aircraft. It is unclear whether all of this will transfer to Ukraine. Poland’s previous condition was to get additional F-16s instead. Poland seems to have abandoned this request for now. The United States had previously objected to providing flights through the US air base in Ramstein, Germany. It is not known which route the MiGs will take to Ukraine.

Ukraine has been lobbying for fighter jets for the past few days. In March 2022, a few weeks after the Russian invasion, there were already rumors that Polish MiGs would go to Ukraine. Ukrainian President Zelensky urged the US government to provide the F-16s, which was denied by President Biden earlier this year. Germany was also reluctant to supply fighter jets to Ukraine.

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During a visit to the United Kingdom and EU leaders in Brussels, Zelensky emphasized the importance of providing fighter jets. The Netherlands has also been asked to send F-16s in that direction. According to Defense Minister Kasja Ollongren, the request is understandable, but ‘very complicated’. “We have to discuss the availability of F-16s with the Americans and other allies. We have to seriously look at the consequences, it cannot happen overnight. We have to be honest about that,” he added. news hour And this NOS. In late January, Prime Minister Mark Rutte indicated that the Netherlands was not considering the delivery of F-16s.

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