Armed Forces

Polish F-16s Over Kyiv. Defence Innovations during the Ukrainian Independence Day

Image: Rafał Lesiecki/
Image: Rafał Lesiecki/

A parade has been planned to take place on 24th August, in Kyiv, celebrating the 30th anniversary of Ukrainian independence. Apart from the Ukrainian Armed Forces, and other uniformed services, allied nations are also expected to be involved. Polish F-16s, British Eurofighters, Slovak C-27 Spartan, as well as US and Canadian troops are all expected to participate. Andrzej Duda, the Polish President, is also expected to attend the event, joining the Ukrainian head of state, Volodymyr Zelensky, on the honorary stand. He has been visiting Kyiv since Sunday.

The Visit of the Polish head of state to Ukraine is “an important element of the process of building regional, and international endorsement for the territorial integrity of Ukraine”, said the head of the presidential International Policy Bureau, Jakub Kumoch. Duda is taking part in the meeting of the Inaugural Summit of the Crimea Platform. He is to meet Zelensky and take part in the Ukrainian Independence Day celebrations.

Kyiv has been getting ready to celebrate this special event for weeks now (Ukraine has regained its independence in 1991). Hundreds of soldiers and dozens of vehicles are to take part in the parade - including new, or upgraded equipment. The new equipment would include T-64BM2, T-84M Oplot MBTs, with Ukrainian-made components replacing the Russian ones, 122 mm Bastion-2 rocket launchers, or modernized BMP-1TS IFVs, with the Spisa unmanned turret.

Ukrainian combat aircraft and airlifters would be accompanied by H125, H145, and H225 rotary-winged assets procured in France, and operated by the border patrol, police, National Guard, and rescue/medical services.

Col. Marek Pawlak, the spokesman for the Polish General Command of the Armed Forces, confirmed that four Polish F-16s are expected to take part in the parade as well, alongside four British Eurofighter Typhoons, and Slovak C-27J Spartan, and UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters.

The presence of the 352nd Special Operations Wing MC-130Js is also expected - these US assets are currently stationed in Ukraine.