Get MiG-29 Fighter Jets, Ukraine: We Need F-16s!


The Ukrainian military voiced doubts after Poland promised to deliver some MiG-29 fighter jets. Photos/Illustrations

KIEV – The Ukrainian military voiced doubts after Poland promised to deliver several MiG-29 fighter jets. The Ukrainian military said it welcomed the assistance of old fighter jets but it would be limited. Instead, they demanded modern fighter jets made in the United States (US).

Polish President Andrzej Duda announced the forthcoming arms aid on Thursday, noting that Warsaw will send four MiG-29 fighter jets sometimes fully operational in the coming days. That will be the first of a total of about a dozen jets.

“This MiG is still operational in the Polish air force. They are in their last years of operation but mostly still fully functional,” he said of the fighter, the first variant to enter service in the Soviet Union in 1983.

Although Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said delivery could take up to six weeks at a news conference on Tuesday, the schedule appears to have shifted forward, with Duda stating that Poland is now “close” to sending jets to Ukraine. It remains unclear how the jets will be sent across the border and when they will arrive.

Following the announcement, Kiev said that while it was “grateful” for the weapons assistance, Soviet aircraft would not be sufficient. The spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force, Yuri Ignat, noted that they are unlikely to change the situation dramatically in the line of contact.

“MiG will not get the job done; we need F-16s,” he told reporters as quoted by RT, Friday (17/3/2023).

He added that while the presence of MiG fighter jets would help strengthen their capabilities, Ukraine needed Western multipurpose aircraft to gain an advantage over the enemy.

Moscow has not yet commented on the assistance of Polish MiG fighter jets, but has repeatedly urged foreign arms deliveries to Kiev to stop, arguing it would only prolong the conflict and make a negotiated settlement impossible.

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