Poland could finally retire its obsolete Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets, reported the Polish newspaper Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.
The Polish Air Force has not used MiG-29s since the start of March, when one of the aircraft crashed. The pilot was able to eject himself, but usage of the planes has been suspended since then.
This is not the first time that the Polish military has suspended the use of MiG-29s in connection with a crash.
Poland is already in possession of post-Soviet Su-22s and American F-16s. However, no more than 20% of Poland’s 48 American fighters are in a state of good repair.
It is not yet clear whether use of the MiG-29s will resume. Apparently, no one wants to take responsibility for this decision.
The politicians from the ruling Law and Justice party who are involved in defense matters are also skeptical of the Soviet fighters.
“I’m 90% sure that these planes won’t come back before elections. I also doubt that it will happen before the end of the year. I consider it more likely that they will never come back,” one politician remarked.
“The decision regarding the possibility, the conditions and the timeline for a possible resumption of flights will be made after an examination of all studies, conclusions, recommendations and preventative measures. A starting point for future steps is to determine whether it is safe to use the fleet,” the Polish Defense Ministry told the news agency.
The Polish Defense Ministry is currently implementing its “Harpia” program to acquire multi-role fighters to replace the obsolete Soviet-era MiG-29 and Su-22 aircraft.