Smuggling of MiG-29 Fulcrum spare parts on the Ukraine – Poland border.
According to the Polish defence outlet Altair, the Lviv based unit of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine arrested a 46-years old Ukrainian citizen from the Kiev Oblast who was attempting to smuggle MiG-29 fighter spare parts to Poland at the Rawa Ruska border crossing point.
As the Polish media outlet reports, the Ukrainian trafficker used a Mercedes van to carry a variety of MiG-29 spares, including sensors, fly-by-wire system modules and components of the air intakes, the total value of which is defined to be around 40K USD.
Numerous Polish companies supply spare parts for the Polish Air Force, while the Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa is the main entity which deals with the overhauls of the jet in Poland. Even though the Polish Air Force operates the MiG-29 Fulcrum, whether Poland was the final destination for the parts is still not clear.
WZL [Military Aviation Works] facilities, on the other hand, such as the one based in Bydgoszcz, deal with implementation of the modernization projects and overhauls on the jets. Poland has been successfully modernizing the MiG-29 fighter aircraft since 2011 now and the airframes are expected to remain active until 2030s.
Notably, Poland has recently signed a memorandum with Bulgaria pertaining to potential modernization and maintanance of the Bulgarian Air Force Fulcrums (previously contracted with Russian service providers).
Image Credit: Oleg V. Belyakov / Wiki