Slovakia gets discount on U.S. helicopters after announcing transfer of MiG-29 fighters to Ukraine

22 March, 01:27 PM
Bell AH-1Z Viper helicopter (Photo:Duncan Monk/

Bell AH-1Z Viper helicopter (Photo:Duncan Monk/

The U.S. has offered 12 new Bell AH-1Z Viper helicopters at a discount to Slovakia, after that country approved the transfer of its Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine, Slovak Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad’ wrote on Facebook on March 21.

The discount will be about $660 million, according to Nad’, as the original cost of the helicopters exceeds $1 billion. Slovakia will only be on the hook for $340 million of the total cost, with payment spread over a three to four year period within Slovakia’s planned defense budget.

“This is exactly what the U.S. government’s proposal sounds like,” he said.

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“The remaining amount of about $660 million will be channelled through the U.S. Foreign Military Financing (FMF).”

Nad’ added that Slovakia was the first country to receive this offer thanks to its responsible defense policy, relations with the United States, and its clear support of Ukraine.

Slovakia approved the transfer of 13 MiG-29 fighter jets on March 17.

Earlier on March 16, Polish President Andrzej Duda announced that his country would transfer its first batch of four MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine in the coming days.

Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ihnat said that while providing Ukraine with MiG-29 jets is warmly welcome, they are unlikely to become game-changing at the front.

Ukraine needs modern multi-purpose aircraft to gain air superiority and to strike ground targets, said Ihnat.

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