Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Irish Independent
Irish Independent
By Associated Press Reporters

Slovakia delivers first four Soviet-era MiG-29 jets to Ukraine

Slovak air force MiG-29s fly over an airport during an airshow in Malacky, Slovakia, last August (Petr David Josek/AP

The first four of 13 Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets that Slovakia decided to give Ukraine have been safely handed over to the Ukrainian air force, the Slovak defence ministry said.

The ministry said the warplanes were flown from Slovakia to Ukraine by Ukrainian pilots with help from the Slovak air force, Ukrainian personnel and others.

“I thank (all) involved for a fantastic professional job,” defence minister Jaroslav Nad said.

The ministry said the remaining MiG-29s will be handed over to the Ukrainian side in the coming weeks.

It said it will not provide any additional details until they are safely in Ukraine.

On Friday, the Slovak government approved a plan to give Ukraine its fleet of 13 Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets, becoming the second Nato member to heed the Ukrainian government’s pleas for warplanes to help defend against Russia’s invasion.

Slovakia grounded its MiGs in the summer due to a lack of spare parts and expertise to help maintain them.

Fellow Nato members Poland and the Czech Republic stepped in to monitor Slovak air space.

Slovakia previously signed a deal to buy 14 US F-16 Block 70/72 fighter jets but delivery was pushed back two years, with the first aircraft to arrive in early 2024.

The Slovak defence ministry said on Wednesday the United States has offered Slovakia 12 new military helicopters as compensation for the fighter jets the European country is giving to Ukraine.

Under the offer, Slovakia would pay 340 million US dollars (£276.39 million) for the Bell AH-1Z attack choppers in a deal worth about one billion dollars (£810 million).

US foreign military financing would cover the other 660 million dollars (£536.51 million).

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.