Pour la première fois, un pays de l’OTAN, la Pologne, fait don d’avions de combat à l’Ukraine

Warsaw promised to deliver “in the coming days” four mig-29 hunter-bombers in kyiv. It could be followed, at first, by countries of central and eastern Europe.

by Cédric Pietrapurunga

This is a new step in Western military support in Ukraine. And undoubtedly a new red line crossed from the point of view of Moscow. Thursday, March 16, Polish President, Andrzej Duda, announced the delivery “in the coming days” of four MIG-29 “fully operational” combat aircraft to the Ukrainian air forces. “Other devices are under maintenance and will probably be successively transferred to” Ukraine, added the Polish head of state, during a joint press conference with his Czech counterpart, Petr pavel.

For modest that it is apparently, this announcement is a first: since the start of the conflict in Ukraine, almost thirteen months ago, no member country of the Organization of the North Atlantic Treaty (NATO ) had provided Kiev army combat aircraft. According to different sources, Ukraine has received some SUKHOI SU-25 in the spring of 2022, transferred to its territory to spare parts, but their origin has never been clarified. A time designated, Bulgaria has denied having provided these devices today downgraded.

The announcement is all the more important since at least part of the Polish mig-29-a Soviet hunter-bombardier entered service in 1983 and engaged in many conflicts (Iraq, Yugoslavia, Kosovo, etc.) In recent decades – have been “hybridized” with modern equipment, which make them more effective than aircraft that currently has Ukraine. “They are equipped with a planeic [electronic equipment] with NATO standards and can drop guided bombs,” says Xavier Tytelman, aeronautical consultant and president of the Aviation NXT.

Ukrainian pilots 2>

They can also be quickly taken in hand by the pilots of Kiev, used to flying on planes inherited from the Soviet era: the Ukrainian air fleet is mainly composed of Mig-29, Soukhoï su-27 and soukhoï SU-25. An undeniable advantage compared to Western aircraft, which, even if they were delivered quickly to Ukraine, could not be used for several months, taking into account the importance of the technological differences existing between the devices.

This first sending of four hunters will be followed by others, promised Andrzej Duda, one of the most hostile European leaders to Russia. According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies (Iiss), Warsaw would still have twenty-eight MIG-29 in its arsenal, a dozen of which are operational. Above all, other countries could follow Poland. Several nations are “clearly” ready to provide MIG-29 to Ukraine, assured Piotr Muller, spokesperson for the Polish government on Wednesday. Slovakia, which has a dozen MIG-29, says it considers it, but has not yet made a decision. Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania also have units of this device.

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