The Polish MiG-29s will be deployed to Ramstein AB, Germany and placed at the disposal of the government of the U.S.. From there, they can be transferred to Ukraine.
After denying the various media reports and claims that the country was about to send a certain number of its fighter jets to Ukraine, it looks like Poland has eventually agreed on a plan to transfer its MiG-29 to Ukraine via the Government of the U.S.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken had already confirmed that the U.S. was working with Warsaw on plans to supply Ukraine with its fighter jets on Sunday. “We are working with Poland as we speak to see if we can backfill anything that they provide to the Ukrainians,” Blinken was quoted to say by CNN in an interview.
A new chapter in the “fighter jets to Ukraine” was written on Mar. 8, 2022, when the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a new statement.
The new statement claims that the country is eventually ready to deploy its MiG-29s to Ramstein AB, Germany. From there, the U.S. Government will eventually make the jet available to the Ukrainian Air Force. In return, Poland will get “used aircraft of analogous operational capabilities”.
Here’s the full statement:
Statement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, regarding the statement made by the US Secretary of state, on the transfer of aircraft to Ukraine
The authorities of the Republic of Poland, following consultation between the President and the Government, remain ready to immediately and free of charge move all of its MiG-29 aircraft to the Ramstein Airbase, and place them at the disposal of the government of the United States of America.
At the same time Poland asks the United States government to supply it with used aircraft of analogous operational capabilities. Poland remains ready to immediately arrange the conditions for procurement of those aircraft.
The Polish government also asks other NATO member states – owning the MiG-29 jets – to undertake action of similar nature.
The question now does not pertain the type of the aircraft that would be transferred to Ukraine, but the airframe that the nations transferring the Fulcrums could potentially receive, from the USAF inventory. One common feature between all of the European MiG-29 users is that they are either looking to, or are already operating the F-16. Thus, in one case, it could be deduced that Poland may be requesting the Government of the U.S. to supply second-hand Vipers, to replace their legacy MiGs.
Another option that could potentially be pursued as a solution is a standing fighter unit that would be stationed in Poland, filling in the capability gap left by the lack of Fulcrums. However, this seems to be just a wild speculation.
In the meanwhile the DoD has an opinion on what they can offer in return:
DOD has released this in response to Poland’s announcement that it would send MiG-29s to Ramstein: “We’ve seen the Polish government’s announcement. We have nothing to offer at this time,” a senior defense official says. #Ukraine
— Tara Copp (@TaraCopp) March 8, 2022
NEW – @UnderSecStateP says Poland's offer of jets to the US, for further transfer, wasn't "preconsulted"
— Phil Stewart (@phildstewart) March 8, 2022
🚨Pentagon nixes Polish plan to give MiG’s to Ukraine via Ramstein:
“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…simply not clear there is substantive rationale.” pic.twitter.com/DQv5MlUcvX
— Jacqui Heinrich (@JacquiHeinrich) March 8, 2022
What happens next, in fact, remains to be seen.