Along with Slovakia, Poland will be among the first countries to send fighter jets to Ukraine.

Polish President Andrzej Duda announced the delivery of four MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine in the coming days. Currently, Poland has at least 29 MiG-29 fighters. Along with the delivery of combat aircraft to Ukraine, Poland also announced that it would place US-made High Mobility Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (HIMARS) on the border to Russia’s Kaliningrad Region.

It should be noted that the Polish MiG-29s have been upgraded to a number of NATO standards. The first Polish MiG-29s were acquired from the Soviet Union in the late 1980s, and then Russia. A total of 32 aircraft were put into service. Poland has now replaced the MiG-29 with the F-16 Fighting Falcon since the early 2000s. The last MiG-29 was retired in 2020, after more than 30 years of service.

During its career, the MiG-29 played an important role in the Polish air defense and took part in a number of international and NATO military exercises. Polish leaders said that Ukrainian pilots were familiar with the MiG-29. They can be put into operation immediately without further training. If approaching a new type of aircraft, it will take them about 9 months to train, so the MiG-29 is still the better choice.

Developed in the 1970s of the last century by the Mikoyan design bureau, the MiG-29 fighter had its first flight in 1977, before being officially put into service in 1982. The MiG-29 has a ceiling of 18 km and a range of 1,430 km. The fighter has an empty weight of 11 tons, and a maximum take-off weight of 18 tons, which is considered a light multirole fighter, performing combat missions in conjunction with the Su-27 fighter.

Powered by two Klimov RD-33 turbofan engines, with 49.42 kN dry thrust each, and 81.58 kN with afterburner. These engines help the MiG-29 to reach a maximum speed of Mach 2.4, corresponding to 2,450 km / h. The standard MiG-29 is equipped with Phazotron RLPK-29 fire control radar system that allows to track fighter aircraft targets from a distance of 70km ahead and 35km behind.

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