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Ukraine conflict: Poland to provide MiG-29s to Ukraine ‘in the coming days', president says

Poland is set to transfer an initial four MiG-29 combat aircraft to Ukraine ‘in the coming days', the Polish president has said. (Janes/Patrick Allen)

Poland is to transfer four MiG-29 ‘Fulcrum' combat aircraft to Ukraine “in the coming days”, Polish President Andrzej Duda said on 16 March.

Speaking after a meeting with his Czech counterpart in Warsaw, Duda told Polish media that an initial four aircraft are being prepared for handover, with the remainder of the fleet likely to follow later.

Although Duda reportedly did not say how many MiG-29s in all might be transferred, he noted that Poland has “a dozen” remaining in service. Janes World Air Forces 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.

The president's announcement came 12 months after Poland first declared it was ready to transfer its MiG-29 fleet to Ukraine, and urged Bulgaria and Slovakia as other NATO operators of the same type to do the same. While that and subsequent pronouncements from Poland and Slovakia chiefly have come to nothing, mainly due to fears that shipping high-end fighters was an escalatory ‘red line' that NATO did not wish to cross, this latest announcement seems to be more substantive, with Duda saying the process of transfer had already begun.

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