Finally, the process of transferring fighter aircraf to the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine got off the ground. First, Poland and then Slovakia agreed to transfer ALL of their MiG-29s to Ukraine.
Poland will send four MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine in the coming days, announced by the country’s president Andrzej Duda. Later, ALL Polish MiG-29s will be delivered to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and namely 23 combat and 6 training fighters, although Mr. Duda said that Poland had only 10-20 aircraft of this type.
Immediately after that, the government of Slovakia approved the transfer of fighter jets, Prime Minister Eduard Heger reported. This means 13 MiG-29s, which Slovakia withdrew from its Armed Forces in the summer of 2022.
In fact, the story of the possible delivery of Slovakian MiG-29s to Ukraine has been going on for almost a year. It was first talked about back in March 2022. Then, in July 2022, Eduard Heger spoke about this possibility during the interview. This topic came up again in December 2022. And finally there is some clarity.
In addition, it became known that Slovakia will also send spare parts for the Kub air defense system to Ukraine.
Obtaining Soviet-style fighter aircraft is currently almost the only way to replenish the fleet of the Air Forceof the Armed Forces of Ukraine. No matter how much we would like to get F-16 or other Western fighters, it should be understood that this is a complex and long process that requires the training of pilots, technicians and gunsmiths (about 8-10 people per plane), the preparation of airfield infrastructure, the supply of spare parts etc. So even if the decision to transfer Western fighter jets is made today, they will actually arrive in Ukraine in the best-case scenario only in 2024.
That is why, in order to cover the urgent needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the transfer of Soviet fighter aircraft adapted to Western weapons is the best and fastest option. So thank you very much, Poland and Slovakia.
We will remind you that currently, Slovakia itself is completely without fighter jets. The country ordered 14 F-16V Block 70/72, but the first of them will enter the Armed Forces only in 2024. Until then, the skies above the country will be covered by the Czech and Polish Air Force.