“I think that in the future, we will be able to deliver the rest of our MiG-29 aircraft to Ukraine if necessary,” President Andrzej Duda declared during a joint press conference in which Volodymyr Zelensky also participated.
Duda also announced that Poland had recently delivered four MiG-29 aircraft to Ukraine. He also mentioned the number that is expected to be received soon.
Responding to a question from a Ukrainian journalist, Duda explained in detail the plan used to transfer the post-Soviet jet planes, which had already been done before and which is planned for the future.
“Four Polish MiG-29s from our arsenal were transferred to Ukraine in the last few months for use by the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Four more are being transferred now, a short time ago.
In total, there are eight. We are ready; I told the President (Zelensky) to transfer another six currently being prepared in that area. We assume that they will be able to be transferred in the next few days,” President Duda said.
The President emphasized the fact that the rest of the Polish MiG-29s were modernized and equipped with NATO-compatible communications and other systems.
The transfer of these would require the consent of other states. Duda did not mention Germany. He said US approval would be needed, given the US hardware installed on those planes. He is probably referring to IFF transponders.
Another issue influencing the possible transfer of the Polish Fulcrums is the set of missions that these aircraft perform. “We will need those MiGs, but they will gradually be replaced by new aircraft that we will receive to have at our disposal… FA-50 to be delivered this year, and soon, the F-35,” Duda explained, adding that in the future, Poland could transfer all the fleet of Fulcrums, should it still be necessary.
As the quoted statement shows, Poland can transfer 14 MiG-29 aircraft that were not modernized to Ukraine. These are the devices previously parked at the 22nd Tactical Air Base in Malbork.
The MiG-29s stationed at the Minsk Mazowiecki 23rd Tactical Air Base were modernized in collaboration with the Israeli company Elbit System. As a result, the MiGs were fitted with additional hardware, western IFF systems, and radios that allowed pilots to keep in touch with allies, plus a new mission computer, a moving map, and various minor improvements.
These aircraft will remain in service until they are replaced by new means, the Korean FA-50s, scheduled for delivery to the 23rd TAB, which has transferred its Fulcrums to Malbork.