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Slovakia’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed the donation of 13 MiG-29 aircraft and two Kub anti-aircraft missile systems to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

This announcement was made by Slovakia Prime Minister Eduard Heger during a virtual meeting on 17 March, after the country’s government ‘consensually’ decided to donate fighter planes to Ukraine.

The meeting was also attended by Slovak Republic Armed Forces chief of general staff general Daniel Zmeko.

During the meeting, Zmeko confirmed that the MiG-29 fighter aircraft fleet to be donated to Ukraine is no longer capable of meeting the requirements of the Slovak Armed Forces. 

The 13 aircraft were last modernised in 1996 and have previously suffered a ‘high failure rate’. Zemko said that the aircraft reported failure in every 43 minutes on an average, while operating.

Zmeko said: “Over the last years, when we experienced technical problems concerning MiG-29 aircraft lifecycle, even those pilots that we still had, lost most of their pilot handling skills and capabilities.

“Another critical problem was availability of spare parts, components and ammunition. Handing over MiG-29 aircraft will have no adverse impact on defence capability of the Slovak Republic since we do not use them anymore and we will not use them in future.”

Along with the Kub missile systems, Slovak will deliver one control system, spare parts and ammunition to Ukraine.

The two countries have already signed an associated inter-governmental non-military agreement for transferring aircraft and equipment.

Deliveries under this agreement are expected to commence in the upcoming weeks.

Heger said: “The process of handing over the fighter jets is closely coordinated with the Polish side, Ukraine and other allies.”

Meanwhile, Slovak Defence Minister Jaroslav Naď informed that the country will receive around $900m in compensation.

Naď said: “Apparently, this will be advantageous for the Slovak Armed Forces and beneficial in terms of defence capability of the Slovak Republic.”