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Slovakia delivers first 4 MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine, protection minister says

Slovakia handed over the primary 4 Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine on Thursday, with 9 extra anticipated to be delivered within the coming weeks, Slovak Protection Minister Jaroslav Nad introduced. 

Ukrainian pilots traveled to Slovakia to select up the planes earlier than flying them house. 

“Slovakia is on the proper aspect, and with this gesture, we as a rustic have written ourselves in capital letters in fashionable world historical past, which communicate of well timed assist, honest solidarity and the greatness of the nation,” Nad mentioned in a press release.

Poland turned the primary NATO member to pledge fighter jets to Ukraine final week, with Slovakia following a day later. 

The U.S. agreed final week to present Slovakia a reduction on a dozen new Bell AH-1Z assault helicopters and 500 AGM-114 Hellfire II missiles. Slovakia beforehand signed a deal to purchase 14 F-16 fighter jets from the U.S., however they will not be delivered till subsequent yr. 


Different Western nations have up to now declined to ship fighter jets to Ukraine, however a rising cadre of U.S. lawmakers are pushing the Biden administration to approve F-16 fighter jets for the nation’s air power. 

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators wrote in a letter to Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin final week that fashionable fighter jets can be a “important functionality that might show to be a recreation changer on the battlefield.”

“After talking with U.S., Ukrainian, and international leaders working to assist Ukraine on the Munich Safety Convention final month, we consider the U.S. must take a tough take a look at offering F-16 plane to Ukraine,” the senators wrote on March 14. 

The senators famous that two Ukrainian pilots traveled to Morris Air Nationwide Guard Base in Tucson, Arizona, earlier this month to evaluate their abilities on an F-16 simulator. Ukrainian pilots principally have expertise with the older Soviet-era MiG-29 jets. 

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