Ukraine Could Cannibalize Slovak, Polish MiG-29s to Keep its MiG-29 Fleet Flying

  • Bureau
  • 10:25 AM, March 10, 2023
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Ukraine Could Cannibalize Slovak, Polish MiG-29s to Keep its MiG-29 Fleet Flying
Ukrainian MiG-29UB trainer

Ukraine could use components from the MiG-29s to be donated by Slovakia and Poland on its own jets, Ukrainian MoD spokesman Yuriy Ihnat has hinted.

"Supply of aviation systems is good news because it means that the supply of combat aircraft has moved on," Ihnat said at a briefing Thursday, adding that the decision about how to use aircraft will be made depending on their condition.

"Any help with this type of equipment is certainly good news for us as we will be able to strengthen our combat capability," the spokesperson noted.

Ihnat did not rule out the possibility that some of the MiG-29 aircraft can be used as spare parts for existing aircraft because they wear out in active hostilities. He also urged the West to send more advanced jets. “This (MiG-29) aircraft uses old Soviet weapons. We need Western aircraft, such as F-16, to protect our skies.”

Ihnat’s statements come after Slovak defense minister Jaroslav Naď said on Thursday that the country is ready to hand over MiG-29 fighter jets to the Ukrainian Air Force. He said he spoke with his Polish counterpart Mariusz Błaszczak at the meeting of EU defense ministers on March 8 in Stockholm, regarding the same.

“I think it’s time to make a decision. People are dying in Ukraine, we can really help them, and there is no place for Slovak politicization. It is inhumane and irresponsible,” Nad’ said.

Slovakia decommissioned its 11 MiG-29s on Sept. 1, 2022. Ukraine will be getting 10 of these aircraft, with the last one going to a museum.

Paweł Szrot, the head of the Polish president's office, has been quoted as saying by the Polish Press Agency that Poland will only be transferring “limited” number of MiG-29s to Kyiv.

“As far as I know, it will not be a large number of aircraft…. The number will certainly not correspond to the number of (transferred) tanks,” Szrot said.

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