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Ukraine’s Air Force Boosted by Transfer of MiG-29 Fulcrum Fighters from Slovakia

All 13 MiG-29 Fulcrum fighter jets have been transferred by Slovakia to Ukraine. The initial four MiG-29s were flown to Ukraine by Ukrainian Air Force pilots in March 2023, and the remaining nine have now also been successfully transferred. The transfer of the fighter jets represents Slovakia’s significant support for Ukraine in its defense against Russia’s military aggression and in protecting human lives. The Slovak government’s decision to send the MiG-29s to Ukraine is part of its efforts to increase its military assistance to Kyiv in the fight against the Russian invasion.

According to Defense Minister Jaroslav Na?, the transfer of the equipment was conducted by road with the highest levels of security. The aircraft were made unusable, which was the right thing to do for Slovakia, unlike for their neighbor.

The Mikoyan MiG-29 is a twin-engine fighter aircraft originally designed in the Soviet Union as an air superiority fighter in the 1970s. The MiG-29, along with the larger Sukhoi Su-27, was developed to counter new U.S. fighters such as the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle and the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon. While originally designed for combat against any enemy aircraft, many MiG-29s have been furnished as multirole fighters capable of performing various operations.

As of 2021, the Slovak Air Force had 10 MiG-29ASs and 1 MiG-29UBS in service, inherited from Czechoslovakia. The aircraft underwent modifications by both Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG and Western firms, including navigation and communications systems from Rockwell Collins, an IFF system from BAE Systems, and new glass cockpit features with multi-function LC displays and digital processors. The aircraft can also be integrated with Western equipment in the future.

They were officially retired on August 31, 2022, and Slovakia signed a deal to buy 14 U.S. F-16 Block 70/72 fighter jets, with delivery pushed back two years to early 2024.

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