The MiG-29 is a Soviet-era jet designed for air superiority, tactical bombing and close-air support. It can be fitted with a variety of weapons, including R-77 and RVV-AE missiles.
Polish President Claims That Poland Will Transfer 4 MiG-29 Fighter Jets to Ukraine
The Polish president has announced that his country will transfer 4 MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine. This is a major milestone in helping Ukraine to replace their depleted air force.
The MiG-29 Fulcrum is a modern fourth generation supersonic fighter jet. It is comparable to American F-16s.
Poland has MiG-29s
Poland is delivering four MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine in “the next few days,” President Duda announced on Wednesday, March 9, putting the Western nation at the forefront of Ukrainian military support. It is also the first Nato member to offer the type of warplanes Kyiv has long requested.
It can also carry 1,150 L (250 imp gal; 300 U.S. gal) underwing drop tanks and a centerline tank. It can be equipped with radar absorbing coatings.
The MiG-29s are part of the Polish Air Force’s fleet, but are being replaced with more advanced American-made fighters. Poland has 28 MiG-29s, and it is replacing them with KAI-made FA-50 multi-task jets and Lockheed Martin F-35s.
Ukraine has MiG-29s
Ukraine has more than 161 MiG-29 Fulcrum fighter jets, according to data from the Ukrainian Air Force. These aircraft can pack seven external hardpoints, including four pods of R-27 and R-73 air-to-air missiles, as well as a single 30mm gun and 150 rounds of ammunition.
However, these MiG-29s are not as modern as some other Western weapons Ukraine has received to help with the fighting in eastern Ukraine. One of the more interesting aspects of this is a recently released video that appears to show a modernized MiG-29MU2 in service, which is unusual for these kinds of aircraft.
This one-off upgraded aircraft was undergoing work at the Lviv State Aircraft Repair Plant (LDARZ) before Russia invaded Ukraine, but it likely escaped destruction and is now stationed in a frontline unit elsewhere in the country. During the conflict, the MiG-29MU2 was reportedly used to help prevent ground fire from Russian MANPADS. Its presence in the air also made it easier for the Ukrainian Air Force to keep its MiG-29 fleet from being hit by Russian cruise missiles.
Poland will transfer 4 MiG-29s to Ukraine
Polish President Andrzej Duda has announced that his country will transfer 4 MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine, making Poland the first Western nation to supply military aircraft to Kyiv. This is a key move that could apply pressure to other nations to help Kyiv defend its territory from Russia.
While Ukraine has called for fighter jets from Western allies, so far no one has agreed to do so. That’s partly because Russia may see any assistance as an escalation in support of Ukraine, says George Barros, a military analyst at the Institute for the Study of War.
However, a recent effort by the UK to train Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16s may have changed that. White House spokesman John Kirby said Thursday that Poland’s pledge did not change American policy, but that the United States is weighing Ukraine’s broad military needs before making a decision to send fighter jets.
Ukraine will replace MiG-29s
Polish President Andrzej Duda has confirmed that Poland will transfer 4 MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine. These aircraft are a vital part of the defense arsenal for Ukraine and have played a crucial role in defending against the Russian invasion and keeping the country’s airspace safe.
The MiG-29MU2 is an upgraded version of the Soviet-built Fulcrum and was developed specifically for the Ukrainian Air Force, with the ability to deploy air-to-ground munitions using precision guidance systems. The first upgraded aircraft was delivered to Ukraine in 2020.
While Ukraine has requested US-made F-16s to defend against Russian missile attacks, the Biden administration has been hesitant to send them because they would take too long to train Ukrainian pilots and Russia has extensive anti-aircraft systems that could easily shoot down these jets. So instead, Ukraine is relying on the Soviet-built MiG-29s to provide them with a qualitative edge against Russia.