The President of Poland, Andrzej Duda, announced this Thursday that in the “next few days” they will be able to deliver the first four MiG-29 fighters to Ukraine, which is an advance of the expected deadlines. “In the next few days, we will deliver four planes to Ukraine. The rest are being repaired and prepared,” said Duda, during a joint press conference with his Czech counterpart, Petr Pavel, reports the Polish newspaper ‘Rzeczpospolita’. “It is about MiG-29, which are still active aircraft in the air defense of our country (…) We still have a dozen of them. We took them in the early 90s from the GDR Army (German Democratic Republic). These are its last operational years in accordance with its technical capabilities,” he explained..
Duda, who has not specified the number of fighters that will be delivered to Ukraine, explained that They will be replaced by South Korean FA-50s, the first batch of which is expected by the end of the year, and by American F-35s. “We will have air forces in the form of ultra-modern fighters,” he stressed. Polish diplomatic sources have explained to Europa Press that, in total, the combat aircraft delivery operation will take “several weeks”, but that the fighters identified for Ukraine are ready.
This is the Mig-29
The Mikoyan MiG-29 or MiG-29 Fulcrum, is a fighter designed by the Russian aircraft corporation Mikoyan in the 1970s as a response to the US Army’s F-15 Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon and F/A-18 Hornet. , then in development. The first version of this medium-weight air superiority fighter began use by the Soviet Union Army in 1983.
The MiG-29 is a highly maneuverable twin-engine aircraft designed for high-altitude, high-speed dogfight missions against other fighter aircraft. By weight and dimensions, it is comparable to the American McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet fighter, although it is capable of greater speed and agility. Mikoyan’s fighter features a cockpit raised above the engine and wings to give the pilot the best visibility in combat. It can reach Match 2+ speed and land on unprepared runways and commercial airports.
In terms of armament, it can carry two long-range missiles for long-range combat in the reinforced cargo racks next to the engines, under the wings, as well as four short-range missiles for close combat in the outer cargo racks. It also features a 30mm caliber autocannon on the left side of the cockpit that originally had a capacity of 150 rounds but was reduced to 100 in later versions, allowing it to only fire for a short time before running out. ammunition. The MiG-29 can be fitted with an optional external fuel tank under the center fuselage that allows it to extend its range in combat.
Cockpit of an unretrofitted MiG-29, with analog instruments. Cockpit of an unretrofitted MiG-29, with analog instruments. The Reason Courtesy of IrasD.
The MiG-29s that are part of the Polish army received life extension work and were modernized with the assistance of the Israeli company IAI, mainly to update their communications systems with NATO standards. According to the specialized media Aviación Online, this modernization includes “new INS/GPS navigation equipment, a 5 × 4-inch color multifunction screen, new HUD, new mission computer, new Rockwell Collins RT-8200 UHF/VHF radios , which includes Have Quick I/II and UHF Radio Anti-Jam encoding modes, and a NATO-compliant friend-foe identification system, all integrated on a MIL‑STD-1553B digital data bus ”.
MiG-29 of the Ukrainian Air Force in 2018. MiG-29 of the Ukrainian Air Force in 2018. The Reason
Since the 1980s, more than 1,600 units of the MiG-29 have been manufactured with an average cost that in 2009 was estimated at 29 million dollars per aircraft.
This is a step in coordination with the Ramstein group, the international coalition led by the United States to provide Ukraine with weapons and ammunition that met this Wednesday electronically, and would be the first shipment of combat fighters since the start of the war. Regarding the total number of planes that kyiv will receive, the sources consulted admit that it is yet to be determined but they establish that it will be less than the 28 MiG-29 planes that Poland announced. that he could send to Ukraine, via a donation to the United States, in the early stages of the Russian invasion, a plan that was ultimately thwarted after it was made public.
In any case, the new deadline announced by President Duda shortens the one mentioned a few days ago by the Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, who spoke of four to six weeks to be able to send the first combat aircraft to Ukraine, a country that in recent weeks has been insisting to its partners on these deliveries.
Questioned about whether sending these combat planes could endanger Polish national security, the government spokesman, Piotr Muller, has ruled out such a possibility., and has even ventured that such supply will benefit the country. “Our security will not suffer (…). Our security will benefit from this, because we will also keep the Russian front far from our borders at all times,” said the government spokesman, according to the PAP news agency. On the other hand, Muller has responded to those reluctant to provide military and economic support to Ukraine, warning that “Poland is next in line” for Russia’s targets. In addition to Poland, Slovakia also seems willing to hand over to Ukraine a large part of its fleet of MiG-29s, Soviet-made fighters that fill the hangars of countries that for a time were under the orbit of the Soviet Union.
Delivery of the Leopard 2
In relation to another of Ukraine’s wishes, the German Leopard-2 tanks, the Polish Defense Minister, Mariusz Blaszczak, has stressed that the fourteen tanks of this type that had been promised have already been delivered. “All the promised tanks are already in Ukraine or will arrive there in a very short time. I also hope that other countries will join the transfer of Leopard tanks to Ukraine,” Minister Blaszczak said in an interview for the Ukrainian news agency Ukrinform. The fourteen tanks delivered by Poland are part of the thirty tanks included in an international coalition created to send them to Ukraine, once Germany gave the go-ahead. Other countries that have already complied with these deliveries are Canada, Norway and Spain.