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Ukraine conflict: Germany approves Polish MiG transfer to Ukraine

Poland received from Germany five MiG-29s, which are now cleared for transfer to Ukraine. (Janes)

Germany has approved the transfer to Ukraine of five MiG-29 ‘Fulcrum' fighter aircraft that it sold to Poland in 2003. Berlin announced the move on 13 April, saying the re-export approval will allow Polish President Andrzej Duda to fufil his pledge to transfer all of his country's MiG-29s to Ukraine.

“I am pleased to announce that we can promise our Polish partners the delivery of five MiG-29s from former [East German Army] stocks to Ukraine,” the Bundeswehr said. “We only received the application today. I welcome the fact that we in the federal government have reached this decision together. That shows you can rely on Germany,” it added.

As noted in the announcement, the German government had previously handed over to Poland the MiG-29s it inherited from East Germany with the reunification of the country in 1990. The contract in 2003 contained an end-use clause, which stipulated that the MiG-29s may not be passed on to third parties by Poland without the written consent of the German government. In addition to the MiG-29s taken over by the Bundeswehr, Poland also received MiG-29s from former Soviet Republics and from Czechoslovakia.

Janes World Air Forces (JWAF) lists the Polish Air Force as fielding 21 single-seat and six twin-seat MiG-29s, although some of these are noted as being in storage. JWAF lists nine single-seat and two twin-seat MiG-29s in the Slovakia inventory (including the four now transferred), while Bulgaria is shown as having 11 single-seat and three twin-seat MiG-29s (although not all are operational).

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