The German government has approved Poland’s request to hand over five MiG-29 fighter jets from its stocks to Ukraine, where they would aid Ukraine’s efforts to defend itself against the Russian invasion.
According to the German defense ministry, Poland submitted the request on April 13 and Germany approved it on the same day.
Poland required Germany’s permission as the fighter aircraft were originally transferred to Poland from former DDR (German Democratic Republic) stocks.
“I am pleased to announce that we can promise our Polish partners the delivery of five MiG-29s from ex-NVA stocks to Ukraine. We only received the application today. I welcome the fact that we in the federal government have reached this decision together,” German defense minister Boris Pistorius commented on the rapid approval.
Poland’s president Andrzej Duda had already announced during the recent visit of the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyj in Warsaw that he wanted to hand over all Polish MiG-29s to the Ukraine.
Germany transferred its MiGs to Poland under a transfer agreement from June 24, 2003. The contract contained an end-use clause which stipulated that the transfer of the MiG-29 to third parties by Poland requires the written consent of the German side.
The MiG-29 is a Soviet-designed interceptor and the only combat aircraft that was taken over by the German Air Force from the stocks of the DDR armed forces after reunification.
The Polish MiG-29 will be a welcome addition to Ukraine’s Air Force, as observers put the number of the fighters lost by Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion in February last year at up to 17 airframes. At the beginning of Russia’s invasion, Ukraine had a total of 50 Mig-29s in service.