The first four MiG-29s will arrive from Poland "in the next few days"

Confirmed: Ukrainian Air Force will receive 25 MiG-29s from Poland and Slovakia

As you could read here this Wednesday, Slovakia and Poland had announced their intention to deliver Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29 fighters to Ukraine.

Ukraine could receive MiG-29 fighters from several countries with support of US and UK
The MiG-29 of the Polish Air Force: a video that shows us what its pilots experience

Poland to deliver 12 MiG-29s to Ukraine

The first to confirm the delivery was the President of the Republic of Poland. Andrzej Duda announced yesterday that "in the next few days, we will deliver four fully operational aircraft". Recall that the Polish Air Force has 29 MiG-29 fighters: 23 are single-seater MiG-29A and 6 are two-seater MiG-29UB.

Two MiG-29 of the Polish Air Force (Photo: Hesja).

Duda added: "the rest are being repaired, prepared and will probably be delivered successively". The Polish president noted that "we still have a dozen of these MiG planes in sotck right now", so it can be assumed that Poland will deliver up to 12 of these fighters to Ukraine, as already noted by AP News. With this decision, Poland will become the first NATO country to deliver fighters to Ukraine, a donation in addition to the delivery of hundreds of tanks and other weapons systems from the Polish Army to the Forces Ukrainian Armies since the beginning of the Russian invasion.

Slovakia will deliver its 13 MiG-29s to Ukraine

Likewise, the Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic, Eduard Heger, has announced today that your government has approved the shipment of 13 MiG-29 fighters to Ukraine. As we already saw the day before yesterday, Slovakia's Defense Minister Jaroslav Naď advanced that figure on Tuesday. This is the total number of fighters that the Slovak Air Force has , which currently does not have air combat aircraft, since the 11 MiG-29 that it still had active were withdrawn from service in August 2022. Slovakia will not have new fighters until it receives the first units of the 14 F-16 Block 70s it bought from the US in 2021 (deliveries will begin in 2024, a year later than expected, according to announced a few days ago by the Ministry of Defense of that country).

A MiG-29 of the Slovak Air Force (Photo: Hesja).

Naď announced Tuesday that his country has a compensation offer in the amount of $900 million for the provision of those fighters to Ukraine, which would also include the most modern military equipment in the United States. As we already saw on Wednesday, The UK has also raised the possible delivery of Eurofighter Typhoon Tranche 1 fighters to allied countries that deliver MiG-29s to Ukraine. It could be an interesting option for Slovakia in order to have its own fighters until the F-16s arrive.

Germany would have to approve the delivery of some Polish MiG-29s

This afternoon, the German daily Welt has noted that the German federal government has not received any request from Poland for the delivery of its MiG-29s to Ukraine. "It is not clear whether the plane in question came from GDR stocks. The federal government has not filed an approval request, government spokesman Hebestreit said", Welt has pointed out.

Several MiG-29 of the Polish Air Force (Photo: PAP/Adam Warżawa).

The Polish state agency PAP noted yesterday that until 2021 Poland had 32 MiG-29s in service. Of these, 12 were purchased in 1989 from the USSR, 10 were purchased in 1995 from the Czech Republic and 10 were purchased from Germany. The latter were planes from the East German Air Force, which passed into the hands of the Luftwaffe after German reunification in 1990. Welt has pointed out that if Poland delivers MiG-29s bought from Germany to Ukraine, the German government would have have to issue an approval due to the so-called end-use clause.

The United States remains silent on the delivery of F-16

After confirming the shipment of MiG-29s to Ukraine by Poland and Slovakia, the question now is whether the United States will take the step of donating F-16s, either to Ukraine or to the countries that have delivered those MiG-29s, by way of compensation. This Thursday, John Kirby, Pentagon Press Secretary, did not want to rule on the matter and limited itself to respecting the sovereign decision of other countries on the delivery of fighters of Soviet origin.

An "elephant walk" with US Air Force F-16 fighters at Spangdahlem airbase, Germany, on October 1, 2019 (Photo: USAF).

On Tuesday, noted that senators from the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are lobbying the Pentagon on the F-16s , in order to learn more about what it would take to send those fighters to Ukraine. For now, the Biden administration has yet to make a statement. The United States Air Force (USAF) has operated more than 2,200 F-16s of different variants since this aircraft entered service. Currently, some 34 USAF fighter squadrons continue to operate the F-16, including those in the Air National Guard.


Main photo: Hesja. A MiG-29 of the Slovak Air Force.

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