|Slovak Air Force MiG-29.|
Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini recently announced the nation's intention to shortly sign a new € 100 million contract with Russia for maintenance of the Slovak Air Force MiG-29 fighter planes.
"Over the next four or five years, the Russian Federation and RSK MiG will take care of the combat capability of our MiG-29 aircraft as it is the main airspace protection system in the Slovak Republic," Pellegrini said.
According to local news agencies, the Slovak Government will pay 30 million euros each year for the maintenance of 12 MiG-29s (10 in the "AS" version and two in the "UBS" two-seater version). The current contract will end next autumn.
The Slovak Air Force has carried out an update on its MiG-29A/UB to make them compatible with NATO standards. These works were carried out from 2005 to 2008 by RSK MiG together with some western companies. The updated aircraft have been renamed to MiG-29AS and MiG-29UBS.
Slovak MiG-29AS/UBS jets boast Rockwell Collins navigation and communication systems, BAe Systems IFF systems, new cockpits equipped with multi-function LCD displays and digital processors capable of integrating future Western equipment. The armament capacity has not changed.
Twelve “Fulcrum” on twenty-one of the entire MiG-29 fleet have been updated to the new standard.
The new maintenance contract will guarantee a good operational capacity of the Soviet-era aircraft until the delivery of the new F-16V fighters purchased by Slovakia last year. The 14 Vipers will be delivered by Lockheed Martin between 2022 and 2023.
Written by Matteo Sanzani