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Slovakia Sends MiG-29 Fulcrum Fighters to Ukraine in Support of Defense Efforts

All 13 MiG-29 Fulcrum fighter jets have been handed over to Ukraine by Slovakia. After the initial batch of four MiG-29s was flown to Ukraine by Ukrainian Air Force pilots in March 2023, the remaining nine have since been successfully transferred to the Ukrainian forces. The transfer of the MiG-29 Fulcrums demonstrates Slovakia’s strong support for Ukraine in its defense against Russia’s military aggression and in protecting human lives. The Slovak government approved the sending of MIG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine, stepping up its military assistance to Kyiv in its fight against the Russian invasion.

Defence Minister Jaroslav Na? said that the equipment was transferred by road while maintaining the highest levels of security, and thanked all those involved in the transfer for their efforts. The aircraft were made unusable to Slovakia, in contrast to their neighboring countries. The transfer of the fighter jets was the right thing to do.

The Mikoyan MiG-29 (NATO reporting name: Fulcrum) is a twin-engine fighter aircraft developed in the Soviet Union as an air superiority fighter to counter new U.S. fighters such as the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle and the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon. The MiG-29 entered service with the Soviet Air Forces in 1983 and has been used as a multirole fighter capable of performing a range of different operations.

As of 2021, 10 MiG-29ASs and 1 MiG-29UBS were in service with the Slovak Air Force, inherited from Czechoslovakia. The aircraft had undergone work by Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG and Western firms since 2005. They were officially withdrawn from service on August 31, 2022. Slovakia signed a deal to buy 14 U.S. F-16 Block 70/72 fighter jets, but delivery was pushed back two years to early 2024.

The aircraft now has navigation and communications systems from Rockwell Collins, an IFF system from BAE Systems, new glass cockpit features multi-function LC displays and digital processors, and is also fitted to integrate with Western equipment in the future.

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