Polish MiG-29s to Ukraine… finally – TTG

(8 Mar 23) – “Poland is ready to give its MiG-29 fighters to Ukraine as part of an international coalition”, President Andrzej Duda said in an interview with CNN International in Abu Dhabi. He added that Ukraine is to receive F-16 aircraft in the future. “The rest of the MiG-29s that we have in Poland and that are now serving in our air force – we are ready to deliver these planes and I am sure that Ukraine would be ready to use them immediately,” Duda said.


WARSAW, Poland (13 Dec 22) — In a potentially major reinforcement of Ukraine’s air combat capability, Slovakia’s Foreign and European Affairs Minister Ratislav Káčer has announced his country is preparing to transfer Soviet-made Mikoyan MiG-29 fighter jets to the Ukrainian Air Force in coordination with the United States. “We have not yet handed [Ukraine] the MiG-29s. But we are ready to do it. We are talking with our NATO partners about how to do it,” Káčer told local news agency Interfax Ukraine. “And … we had a very meaningful conversation with [Ukraine’s] president. My defense minister explained to [the Ukrainian] president how we can do this. And I think that, in the coming weeks, a Ukrainian delegation will come to Slovakia, and we will work together with our American friends to make this reality.”


Comment: That’s 30 MiG-29s from Poland and 11 more from Slovakia. That would pretty much double Ukraine’s MiG-29 fleet. With the proven capability of firing the AGM-88 HARM anti-radiation missile and the ability to also use the JDAM-ER precision strike munitions, this should be a great help for future offensive operations once the ground dries up.

Last year the US was apprehensive enough about Poland providing these MiG-29s to scotch the deal. I think it was due to another self-imposed Russian red line. We’ve apparently gotten over that particular apprehension. Poland also wanted to do this as a multilateral deal. The Slovakian MiGs makes it so.

The JDAM-ER has a range of 40 miles. I have no idea if the Ukrainian Air Force can fly deeper strike missions through formidable Russian air defenses. Perhaps in conjunction with HARM, HIMARS and partisan/SOF support clearing the way, it’s a possibility.  We can also provide all the surveillance and early warning support needed for such deep strikes, at least into Crimea. Providing direct EW support probably remains a Russian red line. We are also looking at ways to allow existing Ukrainian aircraft to use the AIM-120 air-to-air missile. That may be easier with the Polish upgraded MiG-29s. They already meet certain NATO standards. This is one area that Russia currently has a clear advantage over the Ukrainians with the Vympel R-77 and R-37.


This entry was posted in TTG, Ukraine Crisis. Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to Polish MiG-29s to Ukraine… finally – TTG

  1. Fourth and Long says:

    Sorry, TTG, but your enthusiasm is misplaced, however understandable. Take a look at the wings on this bird in the link below. And they are already inside the continental 48. And check out the communication systems and armament. Jurassic era drones which can reproduce in ways we no longer can understand or remedy. As usual I am not able to reveal my sources, who are themselves forbidden from further informing even me.
    Giant flying insect found on Walmart building turns out to be Jurassic-era find
    An insect has been identified as the species Polystoechotes punctata, which belongs to a family of insects that predates the dinosaurs. READ MORE: https://abc7.ws/3Yj6M5g

    • TTG says:


      So this bug was still in the US in the 1950s. That takes some of the wonder out of the story. Now that ceolacanth that was pulled up off South Africa years ago after supposedly being extinct for millions of years, that was freaking amazing. Still surprised that an entomologist grad student missed this for ten years. Bugs don’t get any respect.

      • Fourth and Long says:

        We had 17 yr locusts in upper NY State when I was a kid. Mind f*cking to behold. If such critters can last in hibernated form for 17 years and then awaken and transform, why not for a thousand? Really interesting phenomen – a life of days or hours followed by eternities underground. We’re lucky tyrannosaurus Rex didn’t hit on the metamorphic means of reproduction … but hold on – Washington DC is infested with dinosaurs. And weird cartoon characters.

        • TTG says:


          Were they locusts, grasshopper-looking things, or cicadas, notably stocky prehistoric looking things? We have those cyclical cicadas here in Virginia. The first year I was here we had a brood hatch. They were everywhere and made a hell of a racket. Subsequent hatches weren’t near as prolific or loud.

          • Fourth and Long says:

            In truth I don’t know. Only that my mom called them “17 yr locusts”, that I was very young, that they darkened the sky, that their buzzing hum was eerie and that their exoskeletons made a crunching sound underneath my feet for miles and miles around the house for what seems like a few weeks after their disappearance to an old man’s memory. My mom seemed to know all about them as she did everything in nature. I pegged her as a descendant of druid priestesses once I read about them a few years later. Weirdly prophetic woman. She had horrid visionary dreams of cities blowing up in the 30s and early 40s and when she saw the papers after Hiroshima reportedly had fits thinking that her prophetic powers had somehow been responsible and therefore resolved never to dream again, successfully, according to her memory. A family joke was that it accounted for nuclear peace throughout the long cold war.

  2. Leith says:

    Regarding the extended range JDAM: there are some claims of 60 nautical mile range, which would be damn near 70 miles or 110 kilometers. Might be true or might be wishful thinking during the design/development work-up. But even if true, to get that range you would think they’d need to launch from high altitude where they were at risk from RU air defense.

  3. Bill Roche says:

    This is an awful development that had to be. Those on this blog who support Ukrainian independence know w/o air equivalency, Ukraine will sink into more of a punching bag for Russian mass infantry assaults. Western nations either do or don’t support freedom and sovereignty and Putin, despite all the derogatory comments about his “manhood”, is not backing down one bit! It’s “put up or shut up” and in that regard Russia can still turn round, go home, w/o any threat to her borders. Russophiles must constantly be reminded that Ukraine d/n invade Russia, Russia invaded Ukraine (as she has invaded so many other neighbors over the past 100 years). Poland knows that should Russia subdue Ukraine, she and the Balts will be dessert. The next “step” will be that of a Slovakian “defensive” brigade in Galicia to insulate the Slovakian border. Just a forward defense of their border is all it will be, right. Putin has opened up a huge can of worms. Glory to the Russian Empire, Glory to Czar Vlad!

    • TTG says:

      Bill Roche,

      I’m still pleasantly surprised that Russia has not been able to achieve air superiority. Both sides are pretty much limited to low level spray and pray tactics from the safety of their own lines. More and better air defense is something Ukraine desperately needs to counter the missile and drone threat.

      • English Outsider says:

        TTG – the Ukrainians have the advantage of world class IRS when it comes to AD but the disadvantage that the physical equipment to make use of it is increasingly lacking.

        Ukrainian identification and targeting of incoming missiles and aircraft is done mostly by satellite and AWACS so that the AD only needs to turn on its own radar at the last minute. This means that that the usual means of AD suppression are not as effective. All the Russians have to go on is that quick blip of last minute radar from the equipment on the ground and that equipment is then moved hastily away.

        This Ukrainian AD advantage is now apparently being eroded. Partly because however effective and safe this last minute targeting from the ground is, the Ukrainians still need physical equipment on the ground to make use of it. They are said to be running low on their stock of S300’s and other inherited equipment and Western replacements are not sent over in sufficient quantity to make up for it.

        Partly also because it’s said that the Russians now send over dummy missiles to draw fire and are then able to follow that up immediately with an armed missile coming in right behind. That doesn’t give time to move the AD equipment away, particularly if hypersonics are being used for the second missile.

        So “it is said”. And that’s all there is to go on since neither side is kind enough to send out bulletins on what is really happening in this rapidly evolving field of warfare.

        Something’s happening though because the Russians are now using aircraft closer to the front lines or over them more often than they were. Around Avdiivka they are now therefore able to use gravity bombs. The fortifications there are truly formidable and artillery doesn’t do a lot to render them unusable. Several hundredweight of explosives dropped from the air is more effective and now seems to be breaking those fortifications up.

        Presumably the Russians are using the same aiming technology with their gravity bombs that was seen in Syria and those bombs are now more accurate that the old style bombing ever was.

        But this remains a grossly uneven combat. The Russians can launch whatever they please, ground or air launched, from wherever they please in the RF or Belarus.

        The Americans – and let’s face it it’s only the Americans on our side who count at this level – do indeed have the means of countering that but how? They cannot launch into Russian territory so that means Russian industrial and logistic capability is safe whereas the Ukrainian is not.

        The American aircraft, whether piloted by Ukrainians or NATO personnel, cannot operate from inside Ukraine. The bases they would have to fly from are vulnerable. They cannot sit well back and launch from NATO territory. That would immediately turn Europe into a battleground . If that didn’t lead to WW3 it would lead at a minimum to the bases there being targeted. Nor, realistically, can they fly from carriers. That would also lead to uncontrollable escalation.

        The analysts all talk about how the West is running out of kit with which to assist our proxies. Not really. The kit’s around but it simply can’t be used in these circumstances. We can only send dribs and drabs of kit that’s usable. Most of what we have cannot be deployed and won’t be.

        There’s a further question that I’m not qualified to comment on at all, but that questions is also still hanging there. We’ve discovered over the last year that European NATO is a busted flush. Scholz and Stoltenberg are all hat and no cattle. But NATO as a whole is technologically and quantitively inferior to the Russians even if it did come to fighting a non-nuclear combined arms war with the Russians anyway. Is that not so?

        You’ve been kind enough to allow me to put forward contrarian opinions. May I do so again?

        We trained and equipped our proxies well but for small unit warfare. We never gave them the training or equipment for modern combined arms warfare. We took them into a war we never expected to be won by military means. It was going to be won by means of the sanctions war.

        That sanctions war has failed. We nevertheless encouraged our proxies to keep fighting. Each time they did so they lost more lives and more territory in this unwinnable military war. I suspect they might now have lost the entire country. Even if that’s not the case they will lose more and more of it. And the deaths are ratcheting up yet further. It’s time to stop.

        • TTG says:


          I’m surprised Ukraine has any S-300 missiles left at all. In my opinion, they’re only saved by the Russian inability to launch a sustained bombardment against Ukrainian infrastructure. They can do one day with a hundred strikes, but then need several weeks to replenish and scrounge up enough working missiles to launch another strike. If they could do a sustained campaign of ten days to two weeks of 100+ strikes a day, Ukraine would stay dark and the rail system, the life line of the country, would be severely impaired. The fact that they can’t do that along with taking missiles out of their nuclear arsenal to use as dummies and using their S-300s as surface to surface missiles shows Russia wasn’t prepared for this war, either. Those Polish and Slovakian MiG-29s, with still plentiful air to air missiles, will bolster Ukraine’s air defenses against future missile strikes. Except for the Kinzhal, nothing the Ukrainians have can stop the Kinzhal.

          • cobo says:

            Dear God, please wratchet up the arms of those who could, to scrape the planet of Homing All the Way Killers (HAWK) and send them to Ukraine. The birds are still hungry. “If it flies, it dies.” (32AADCOM). And in honor of our VN HAWK brothers, “Kill First.”

      • jim ticehurst.. says:

        I have been Browsing News Sites On This Fine Day in
        The Land of the Free…..And Came across several Current ..
        Russia/Ukraine Articles at NEWSWEEK..

        Among the First Stories..About The WAR..was that The
        Ukraine Defense Ministry…..UDM…..Put out a Report
        Yesterday Friday March 10…2023 on War Casultys and
        Equipment….Destroyed…,and Russian KIA Numbers..
        of multiple Vheicles and Weapons belonging to Russian Army..
        Russia Lost 23 Vehicles. .7 Tanks..6 Armored Vehicles..
        One Fighter Jet…6 Special Vehicles…& Fuel Tanks..
        34 Cruise Missles…10 Artillery Systems..9 Drones..3 MIRS..
        and 2 Air Defense Systems..

        It was Reported that 870 Personnel were Killed Or Wounded,,
        Bringing Russian Casualties..to 156,990 Since 2/24/22,,

    • wiz says:


      I’d say Poland and the rest of Europe are pretty confident that Russia is only interested in wrecking Ukraine.
      Otherwise, they would not be so enthusiastically emptying their inventories of ammo, artillery, anti tank weaponry, and now aircraft and tanks.

      In any case, good business for the US MIC that gets to sell the replacements.

      • Bill Roche says:

        wiz I disagree. The Poles have endured Russian conquest more than once in their history. The latest, ’41 resulted in Russian troops occupying their country for another 50 years. I sit here safely in NY. There are no Russians coming up the Hudson. Poles see the g-d Russians pushing up the Deneiper and it has to give them pause. “Here they come again”. Poland would rather (IMHO) see Russian empire stopped in Ukraine then have to stop it in Warsaw. Therein my speculations about the Slovak Republic. If Russia crushes the Ukrainians do the Slovaks and Balts think, NATO or not, that they will not be brow beaten by the Russians. This is the essential element in this conversation. It has been my position since the summer of ’91 that this war is NOT just about Ukraine. It is a war for the renewal of the Russian Empire. I believe deniers of that are wishful thinkers. My 2 cents.

        • wiz says:


          Russia has invaded Poland and Poland has invaded Russia, even occupied Moscow at some point.
          Europe is full of such stories. It wouldn’t take much for Germany and France to start eyeing each other with suspicion or the UK to try and add fuel to any conflict on the continent. That’s the way it is with Europe.
          Poland thinks it is pretty smart.
          With the two largest and most populous Slav countries fighting each other, it sees a chance for itself to emerge as some kind of a center of power in eastern Europe.
          This conflict could cost it dearly, however. I’m pretty sure Russia has no intention or the capability to go after Poland or the Baltics at this moment.
          However, a war of this magnitude is unpredictable, and if it escalates then Poland, as a major logistical hub for supporting Ukraine, could find itself in a very difficult situation.
          If sh*t really hits the fan then no one is safe. There will be no Russians coming up the Hudson as you say, but in the age of ICBMS and hypersonics, they don’t need to.

          • Bill Roche says:

            Wiz: you don’t think there is a chance for a rtn of the Polish/Lithuanian Empire do you? What might happen, since Ruthenians and Poles fought so often over the Polish Galician border, is Poland could be on the rcvng end of a “rump” Galicia while Russia takes the rest of Ukraine. Is Poland angling for this… ? As to Polish thoughts of increasing trrty well, a rtn to 1400 is always possible but if I lived in Poland today I would be more frightened about a rtn to 1941-1991. The Baltics have a somewhat different problem. They, like Poland, are NATO. But, NATO or not, they can still be intimidated/browbeaten/pressured daily by Russians just inches away. I agree today Russia has no intention of threatening the Baltics or Poland. They are not yet through w/Ukraine and still have Moldova and another pass at Georgia. I believe the fat lady is singing in Moscow about the rtn of the Russian Empire but the west doesn’t want to listen. If I can just put my head in the sand maybe the wolf will go away, or maybe he is telling the truth that he only wants to eat Ukraine, or maybe that bad ole NATO made him invade Ukraine or maybe …

          • cobo says:

            “find itself in a very difficult situation…” I think Poland expects to find itself in a very difficult situation. It is preparing for long war and, I sense, victory. The way it is arming itself, and the industrial development it is undergoing and increasing with South Korea make it look like a long-term winner to me. And it has friends who see this coming, too. This is just beginning.

    • Lee Patten says:

      I thought Russia was running out of ammunition and the military was incompetent? Yet commentators keep saying Russia will invade everyone else. Which is it?

  4. Jimmy_W says:

    JDAM-ER maybe, because of the 1553 databus already apparently installed for AGM-88. But they are not likely to do AIM-120 integration. Perhaps if the war continues to 2024, they will. (Maybe getting a head start by starting integration with non-operational aircrafts.) But not right now.

    MIG-29A currently don’t have datalinks of either kind. AIM-120 does not need datalink, but w/o links, its range is probably limited to within 20 miles (LOBL mode). The datalink gives AIM-120 the required mid-course update for long range shots. Perhaps E-3A can pass update from Slovakia, but probably not. And if you’re limited to 20 miles, might as well stick with the R-27T/ET (AA-10) missiles.

    Retrofitting an AIM-120 radar seeker onto R-27 might be faster than integrating AIM-120 onto MIG-29. It is not necessary to update the navigation logic if guidance can translate the radar commands into native protocol. And Ukraine (should) have plenty of R-27 left.

  5. Mark Logan says:

    Another aspect is the Russians have been using their S300’s as surface missiles, the threat of a Ukrainian AF might make them reserve those. The planes can have an effect just by being there.

    It’s to be expected the Russians will make a play for air supremacy at some point. Perhaps this will help to discourage those thoughts and thereby bring them to the table in a serious way.

  6. Babeltuap says:

    Zelisky requested to speak at the Oscars and a US film festival. He was turned down. Not a good sign for someone the Democrats said gave the greatest speech on the floor of Congress of all time. I wonder what gives?

    • Fourth and Long says:

      Hedging their bets. The man is hooked into some extremely disreputable organized crime oligarchs in Ukraine, I mean really bad. He’s also said to be a drug addict. Not to put too fine a point on it but imagine if say Idi Amin in his heyday, or Hitler in 1936, or Pol Pot before he became infamous were on record as having spoken and having received standing ovations at the Academy Awards ceremonies. My point is people didn’t know how awful those guys would turn out to be. The Ukraine war could end up with tens of millions of deaths by when, 2028, who knows, or last 75 to 100 years with 75 x 200,000 fatalities and intermittent world famines. It’s unknown.

  7. JamesT says:

    If I might go off topic – Iran and KSA have just signed a China broker rapprochement. This strikes me as a Very Big Deal.

    • TTG says:


      You’re right. This does sound like a very big deal. Sounds like a mighty demonstration of national power that’s not military. If China can bring peace or at least the absence of war to Yemen, it would definitely be a very big deal.

  8. Fourth and Long says:

    Russian source translated:
    14:11 March 10, 2023 49
    In Bakhmut, the Armed Forces of Ukraine used the JDAM “smart bomb” for the first time. Video:
    Ukraine hit Bakhmut (Artemivsk) with a JDAM smart bomb for the first time. The Ukrainian edition “Strana” distributed a video of the use of weapons.

    “JDAM is the wings and electronics that attach to an aerial bomb, allowing it to glide and strike at GPS coordinates. The bomb was dropped [in Bakhmut] with the help of aviation, ”the publication reports. This is the first time a “smart bomb” has been used.

  9. Fourth and Long says:

    JDAM “Smart Bomb” used by Ukraine near Bakhmut for 1st time.

    DONETSK, March 10. /TASS/. The Ukrainian military dropped a bomb equipped with the US-made JDAM guidance kit in the area of Kurdyumovka near Artyomovsk (called Bakhmut by Ukraine) in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) to test the possibility of employing it from Soviet-made aircraft, Yan Gagin, military-political expert and adviser to the acting DPR head, told TASS on Friday.
    “These are air-launched bombs. Originally, they were made for NATO aircraft. Ukraine has no such aircraft. We believe that this could have been a combat test with a non-standard carrier. This can apply, in particular, to MiG-29 multirole fighters,” he said.
    The MiG-29 is one of the few aircraft that the Ukrainian military could have used for dropping the JDAM-equipped bomb. Ukraine employs these multirole fighters for launching HARM anti-radiation missiles, he said.
    Ukraine’s Klimenko Time media outlet reported earlier on Friday that the Ukrainian military had employed the JDAM bomb in Donbass for the first time. In its confirmation of this report, the media outlet posted a video clip of the explosion that is spreading on Ukrainian Telegram channels. Neither the Kiev regime nor its military has yet officially confirmed the information on the use of the JDAM bomb.
    The business news agency Bloomberg reported in late February, citing sources that the United States would deliver modified JDAM ER (Joint Direct Attack Munition Extended Range) guidance kits based on the global positioning system that would make it possible to convert standard air-launched munitions into guided weapons. As Bloomberg specified, the GPS guidance kit is attached to an air bomb weighing from 226 kg to 907 kg and its wing assembly enables the munition to glide towards the target to a maximum range of 72 km.

  10. Certainly, I may be the biggest dilettante on this sight, but doubling a small air force that does not seem to have been that active to begin with does not seem a game changer.

    Has the smell of “Ghost of Kiev.”

Comments are closed.