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Polish MiG 29's to the Ukraine?

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Polisy MiG 29

Polisy MiG 29

It was just a few days ago, that Poland said the idea of sending MiG-29's to Ukraine was "fake news". LOL, now, it is real news that shocked the US. According to Polish authorities, anywhere from 6 to 28 MiG-29's would fly to the US base in Ramstein, Germany. Once there, it would up to NATO or the US to obtain the needed Ukrainian pilots that would fly them back to the Ukraine. These aircraft would be armed with some air to air missiles and bombs. If the aircraft are not flown back to the Ukraine, then they would be shipped by rail.

The MiG-29 is a 1980's era aircraft that is nearing its end of life as far as technology goes. While there have been upgrades to it, it still remains "a better than nothing" approach in giving Ukraine more weapons. The Poles would just love to get the upgraded American F-16 in exchange, which is why they are just willing to "dump" the MiGs over to the US in Germany and be done with it. This accomplishes any danger that Putin would claim that NATO has intervened directly and also hopefully not make Poland a target!

But There's A Problem

First, there is a lack of available F-16's to send to Poland right away and the trade is a bad for the US, although, Poland is on tap to receive them anyway. But there so many issues and getting them there is not one. For instance, where will they be based at? Most likely in the Lviv area, which has not yet been attacked very much. But that would change as soon as they were based there. Keeping the aircraft flyable is another big issue with fuel and weapons, all have to gotten into Ukraine during a war. Also, just how effective will MiG-29s be in that environment. The Russians anti-air defenses would surely track them and fire at them shooting them down. Newer generations of MiGs could engage in air to air combat from the Russians could take them out. The airbases that they land at would also be prime targets almost immediately rendering them grounded. Maybe the MiG-29s might have one shot of making a real difference kamikaze style at attacking ground units, then what? The war continues to grind on as if not much changed.

Far more uncertain and dangerous is Putin. I suspect that he would use the MiG 29 intervention as a reason to attack Poland, saying it was backhanded way of intervention by indirect means. If Poland was even attacked by one Russian missile, Article 5, kicks in and a new larger war begins. The 28 MiG 29's could not provide a No-Fly zone either, at best, it would be for a very short time over a city.

While the notion of sending them to Ukraine is great for national morale, in reality, the boost would not last very long when they are either grounded for repair or fuel or shot down. The time to do this idea was BEFORE the war started. The same applies to all the weapons. NATO should have provided those missile defenses that Ukraine had asked for. Had all of this been done in the weeks before Putin invaded, there might not have been a war at all. As usual, the West reacted weakly in the weeks prior to invasion. Perhaps a better solution is that Turkey or other countries provide armed Drones that can be flown remotely and are much harder to detect. They have proven to be quite deadly!

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