Defence Policy

Polish President Announces Next Polish MiG-29 going to Ukraine

Four Polish MiG-29s, undergoing pre-flight checks.
Photo. Jarosław Ciślak/Defence24

I think that in the future, we will be able to deliver the remainder of our MiG-29 jets to Ukraine if a need as such emerges, stated President Andrzej Duda, during a joint press briefing also involving Volodymyr Zelensky. Duda also announced that Poland has delivered 4 MiG-29 jets to Ukraine in recent months. He also mentioned the numbers expected soon.

Responding to a question asked by a Ukrainian journalist, Duda explained in detail the plan used to transfer the Post-Soviet jets - that had been made before, and that is planned for the future.

Four Polish MiG-29s, from our stockpile, were transferred to Ukraine over the last months, for the Armed Forces of Ukraine to use. Four extra are being transferred now, recently. That is a total of 8. We are ready, I told Mr. President (Zelensky) to transfer another 6, that are currently being prepared within that scope. We assume these may be transferred in the coming days.
President Duda

The President stressed the fact that the remainder of the Polish MiG-29 jets underwent upgrades and were fitted with NATO-compliant communications and other systems. The transfer of those would require consent to be issued by other states. Duda did not mention Germany here. He said that approval would be needed from the US - given the US hardware installed on those aircraft. The above probably refers to the IFF transponders.

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Another matter that has an impact on the possible transfer of the Polish Fulcrums is the mission set those aircraft are performing. "We will be needing those MiGs, but they will be gradually relieved by new aircraft that we will be receiving to have at our disposal... FA-50 that would be delivered this year, and soon, the F-35", Duda explained, adding that in the future Poland may transfer the whole Fulcrums fleet, should the need still be present.

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As the statement quoted above shows, Poland can transfer 14 MiG-29 jets that were not modernized to Ukraine. That refers to the aircraft previously stationed at the 22nd Tactical Air Base in Malbork. The MiG-29 jets that were stationed at the 23rd Tactical Air Base in Minsk Mazowiecki underwent an upgrade, done in collaboration with the Israeli Elbit System company. That upgrade resulted in the MiGs being fitted with extra equipment, western IFF systems, and radios allowing the pilots to stay in touch with the allies, along with a new mission computer, moving map, and several smaller upgrades. These aircraft would remain in service until replaced by new assets. Above all, that refers to the Korean FA-50s, expected to be delivered for the 23rd TAB, that has transferred its Fulcrums to Malbork.