Poland and Slovakia to provide Ukraine with MiG-29 fighter jets within weeks

Poland has pledged to provide Ukraine with fighter jets in ‘four to six weeks’ – a move which could see British Typhoon aircraft taking their place.

The country’s prime minister put a timeframe on the provision of MiG-29s yesterday which would provide a huge boost to Ukraine.

Its pilots are accustomed to the aircraft because it is also part of their air force – whereas learning to operate unfamiliar British and US jets will take many months.

Poland is hoping its NATO allies, including the UK, pass on surplus aircraft to take the place of the MiG-29s.

The UK has up to 30 ‘Tranche 1’ Typhoon jets which are due to be withdrawn from service in 2025.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has previously suggested he is willing to send Typhoons to eastern European countries, backfilling their contributions to Ukraine’s fighter jet fleet.

Asked when this process could start, Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki said yesterday: ‘That could happen in the coming four to six weeks.’

Slovakia may also send its MiG-29s as part of the same arrangement.

Poland has already sent 14 German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. Its officials indicated it would be sending fewer MiG-29s.

Just weeks after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine Poland made the same pledge to donate fighter jets to its neighbour – but the US scuppered the plan over fears it could escalate the conflict.

A year later, the US is understood to support such an initiative. However, it remains unclear why the provision of MiG-29s from various eastern European NATO members to Ukraine has not happened already if this is the case.

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