[In short] Poland and Slovakia equip Ukrainian forces with Mig-29s

(B2) The Allies have taken the plunge. They are going to deliver fighter planes to enable Ukraine to reconstitute its air force which was partly destroyed at the start of the war. This very quickly.

A Mig 29 in Slovak colors (Photo: MOD Slovakia / B2 Archive)

13 Slovak Mig 29 fighters

Bratislava will deliver 29 Soviet-designed MiG-17 fighters to Ukraine, Prime Minister Eduard Heger said on Friday (March XNUMX). An approach “fully coordinated with Poland and Ukraine” he added. Bratislava will also deliver two Koub-type anti-aircraft defense systems to kyiv.

In a few weeks

The transport of the planes “will take a few weeks”, specified, for his part, the Minister of Defense Jaroslav Nad. “At least three aircraft will be used to supply spare parts,” added the Chief of Staff of the Slovak Armed Forces, General Daniel Zmeko. These hunters were last modernized in 1996 and are no longer used in Slovak hunting today.

Also four Polish Mig 29s

Poland announced Thursday (March 16) to deliver a first batch of four MiG-29 fighter-bombers to Ukraine. “In the coming days, we will first transfer (…) four fully operational aircraft to Ukraine,” Polish President Andrzej Duda told the press. Other devices should follow. 'They are currently being rehabilitated and will probably be transferred later,' he said.

A request from Kyiv

This responds to a recurring request from Ukraine, which suffered significant losses in its aviation, especially in the first days of the Russian offensive in February 2022. Kiev has repeatedly asked NATO allies to send it planes. Especially F-16s.

No delivery of F-16 planned

On the American side, there is no delivery planned. "It's not on the table," White House spokesman John Kirby told reporters, recalling that President Joe Biden had publicly opposed the delivery of fighter jets to Israel. Ukraine. But this delivery seems to have been fully concerted and to have received the green light from the White House.

US and European compensation

Bratislava has thus announced that it will receive American "compensation" for the delivery to Ukraine of specific military equipment, worth approximately $700 million, which "is in addition to compensation under the European Peace Facility ". In total, the compensation thus reaches “approximately €900 million”.

Other suppliers by 2024 or 2025 ?

France has not ruled out the delivery of Mirage-type fighter planes. The decision to switch to “All Rafale” in an accelerated manner thus frees up a certain number of operational aircraft. The UK has started training Ukrainian pilots. Finland, through its Prime Minister Sanna Marin visiting Kiev last week, had indicated that it was necessary to "think" about the delivery of Finnish aircraft of the F-18 Hornet type. These are to begin to be retired from service in the 2025s, to be replaced by F-35s.

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde with AFP)

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