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Poland Wanted to Send MiG-29 Fighters to Ukraine (That Deal Is Now Dead)

MiG-29 Russia
MiG-29 fighter. Image: Russian State Media.

The US Rejects Poland’s Offer of MiG-29 Fighters For Ukraine As “Untenable” – The United States has rejected Poland’s offer to send all of its MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine via a US airbase in Germany. The Pentagon said that the proposal raised “serious concerns” for the entire NATO alliance. 

With Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky pleading for NATO to implement a no-fly zone over the embattled country and asking for more aircraft to fight the Russian invasion, the Polish government made the offer.

Under the Polish proposal, where a statement was posted on Poland’s Foreign Ministry website, the Polish government would send Ukraine its entire fleet of MiG-29 fighter aircraft, “immediately and free of charge” via the US airbase at Ramstein, Germany. 

To replace their aircraft, 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 Polish then added that all NATO allies that operate MiG-29s “to act in the same vein.” Since Ukraine operates MiG-29s, the pilots from there wouldn’t have any transition time to learn a new aircraft, at least in theory, for those who argue for the jet transfer. 

Poland upgraded their fleet of MiG-29s in 2013-2014 with improved avionics and other equipment to increase their lifespan. Some of the sensitive avionics equipment would have to be removed prior to handing over any MiGs to Ukraine. 

However, they have put most of their efforts into keeping their F-16s purchased from the United States in top flying condition. The Polish have also purchased 24 of the new F-35 stealth fighters, the first of which is slated to arrive in 2024. 

Pentagon Says The Offer is “Untenable”

The Polish offer of supplying Ukraine with their MiG-29s, however, was rejected by the Defense Department. Pentagon press secretary John Kirby issued a statement saying that the Polish government hadn’t consulted with Washington prior to the offer and it would raise concerns for the entire NATO alliance. 

“The prospect of fighter jets at the disposal of the Government of the United States of America’ departing from a U.S./NATO base in Germany to fly into airspace that is contested with Russia over Ukraine raises serious concerns for the entire NATO alliance,” Kirby said.

“It is simply not clear to us that there is a substantive rationale for it,” Kirby added and said that it “shows just some of the complexities this issue presents.”

“We will continue to consult with Poland and our other NATO allies about this issue and the difficult logistical challenges it presents, but we do not believe Poland’s proposal is a tenable one.”

U.S. officials said they were surprised by the surprise Polish announcement, which was different from a previous proposal to have Warsaw deliver the MiG-29 aircraft to the Ukrainian Air Force directly.

Many Eastern European Countries Increasing Support For Ukraine

With the Russian invasion of Ukraine stretching into its second week, many of Ukraine’s neighbors are sending more aid, both military and humanitarian to the beleaguered country. 

However, the decision to offer military aid is a touchy one as an offer such as the Polish one to offer MiG fighter aircraft could be seen as taking an active part in the war. Polish Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki on Tuesday said that the Polish would not act unilaterally. 

“Any decisions on delivering offensive weapons have to be taken by the entire NATO and on a unanimous basis,” he said.

But he echoed what many of the other Slavic nations are feeling when he also was quoted as saying. “Putin will never stop, he will always seek to expand his empire,” he said. 

Other NATO nations such as Slovakia and Bulgaria also operate MiG-29s but they both rejected sending their fighter aircraft to Ukraine. The Slovaks are concerned with transferring their fighters and having no protection of their own airspace. 

Steve Balestrieri is a 1945 National Security Columnist. He has served as a US Army Special Forces NCO and Warrant Officer before injuries forced his early separation. In addition to writing for 19fortyfive.com, he has covered the NFL for PatsFans.com for more than 10 years and his work was regularly featured in the Millbury-Sutton Chronicle and Grafton News newspapers in Massachusetts.

Written By

Steve Balestrieri is a 1945 National Security Columnist. He has served as a US Special Forces NCO and Warrant Officer before injuries forced his early separation. In addition to writing for 1945, he covers the NFL for PatsFans.com and his work was regularly featured in the Millbury-Sutton Chronicle and Grafton News newspapers in Massachusetts.

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Alex

    March 9, 2022 at 10:46 am

    For the Russians it would be a great way to practice on the old targets.

  2. Nabi

    March 9, 2022 at 1:22 pm

    Just as Putin conjectured. NATO is a crippled pussy cat.

  3. Matt Musson

    March 9, 2022 at 1:23 pm

    The US State Department asked Poland to send the jets to Ukraine and offered to backfill with US F-16’s. “Go ahead, Poland. Start WWIII.”

    The Poles offered to send their jets to the US and let the US send them to Ukraine. “You take the jets and you start WWIII.”

    That is when the US Dept of Defense stepped in and said, “NO!”

  4. ronk

    March 9, 2022 at 7:37 pm

    Glad Poland called the US. The US gov. has zero respect globally after Afghanistan. Surely not a group to trust. Being proven daily. I,m sure they see Psako giving her flippant little tripe.

  5. robert sweat

    March 10, 2022 at 12:10 pm

    Our current lack of any leadership and generals like milley who is nothing but a phag in uniform with his trans training instead of teaching our soldiers how to fight will get a lot of our children dead. One thing about it the army always needs cannon fodder but I will guarantee the LGBQTFJB troops will never be put in harms way because they are precious,GAG. We are done for and the lions and hyenas(ussr/ccp) are circling the carcass. I read about this trade yesterday and thought then out state dept and military would find a way to puss out. What a useless president we have.

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