On March 17, Slovakia became the second country to supply MIG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine.
The Slovak government has approved an agreement on the delivery of 13 MiG-29 fighters to Ukraine. These weapons will help the Ukrainian Air Force establish control over the airspace and intercept enemy targets. Slovakia and Poland are ready to hand over MiG-29 fighters to the Ukrainian Air Force.
Reacting to the moves of Poland and Slovakia, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on March 17 that the decision of Poland and Slovakia to supply the Kiev government with MiG-29 fighters will not affect Russia’s special military operation. Currently, the US and other allies such as Germany, France, and Britain still refuse to send modern fighter jets to Ukraine for fear that this will increase the risk of direct confrontation with Russia. These countries only stop at supporting main battle tanks, air defense systems and ammunition. They believe that ammunition is the most urgent need for Ukraine right now.
The MiG-29 is a second generation Soviet fighter jet, designed in the 1970s and put into service in the 1980s. Slovak Air Force performed an upgrade on their MiG-29s for NATO compatibility from 2005. The aircraft now has navigation and communications systems from Rockwell Collins, an IFF system from BAE Systems, new glass cockpit features multi-function LC displays and digital processors and also fitted to be integrate with Western equipment in the future.
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.
At the present time, the MiG-29 has many shortcomings compared to other modern fighters. Slovakia’s decommissioning of the MiG-29 squadron is a logical choice, and of course Ukraine is the next beneficiary. As a very small country, Slovakia is among the military sponsors of Ukraine.