Polish President Andrzej Duda confirmed that four Soviet-era warplanes would be handed over to Poland as part of a historic agreement with Kazakhstan. The deal, which was signed in Nur-Sultan, the capital of Kazakhstan, has been under negotiation for three years. The planes will be flown to Poland later in the month, where they will undergo restoration work at the Museum of Polish Military Technology.
The planes are from the MiG-29 family, which was the backbone of the Soviet air force during the Cold War. The Polish Air Force operated several different versions of the MiG-29 from the late 1980s until 2018, making this acquisition an excellent addition to the museum’s collection. The planes that are being transferred to Poland reportedly saw service in the Kazakh Air Force.
This transfer is seen as a significant achievement in strengthening the cooperation between Poland and Kazakhstan, now fellow members of the European Union and NATO, respectively. The defense ministers of the two nations have emphasised their shared interests and common vision for both military and economic cooperation. The exchange of the planes is one of many initiatives set out in a comprehensive framework established by the two ministries of defense.
The history of the MiG-29 jet fighter is deeply linked with the Cold War era, and the transfer of these planes to Poland carries historical and symbolic significance. The director of the Museum of Polish Military Technology has described the four planes as a “living monument to the times we remember with mixed emotions, a symbol of the difficult post-war period of Polish history”.
The Soviet-era aircraft will be transported by plane to Poland, where they will undergo a complete overhaul and restoration, including new paintwork. Once restored, the four planes will join the impressive collection of the Museum of Polish Military Technology in Warsaw, where they will be displayed for visitors to see.