Poland gives MiG fighter jets to the U.S. to give to Ukraine

MiG-29 fighter jets
MiG-29 fighter jets Nordroden/iStock

Poland announced on Tuesday a plan to deliver its entire fleet of MiG-29 fighter jets to the United States military, which will then pass them along to Ukraine, Forbes reports.

According to a statement from Poland's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the 27 jets will be transferred to the U.S. Air Force base in Ramstein, Germany, "immediately and free of charge." The ministry also urged all NATO member states that have their own MiG-29s to do the same.

"At the same time, Poland requests the United States to provide us with used aircraft with corresponding operational capabilities. Poland is ready to immediately establish the conditions of purchase of the planes," the ministry's statement continues.

The MiG-29 entered service in the Soviet Air Forces in 1982.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday that Poland has the "green light" to give its MiG-29s to Ukraine and that the U.S. would replace them.

Reuters reported last week that U.S. officials estimate Russia is using just over 75 combat aircraft in its campaign against Ukraine. Multiple military experts told Reuters that Russia had not destroyed Ukraine's air defenses and "vastly outmatched" air force as quickly as they'd expected and expressed surprise that Ukrainian airspace was still "actively contested every day."

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