Slovakia Has Decided to Replace its MiG-29s with F-16s

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia USA (, July 11, 2018, Author: Galina Zdravkova, Photo credit: Tech. Sgt. Gregory Brook/U.S. Air Force

The photo shows an F-16 Fighting Falcon operated by the U.S. Air Force that is taking off from Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.

The Ministry of Defence of the Slovak Republic announced on Wednesday that a decision has been taken the Russian made MiG-29 to be replaced by fourteen new Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters, learned

The F-16s were preferred by Slovakia to the Gripen of Saab.

The choice was explained in a statement on the website of the Slovak ministry by the Defence Minister Peter Gajdoš by stating that the F-16s are “state-of-the-art modern machines.” An analysis done through 2040 also has shown that the aircraft of Lockheed are cheaper, which was also included in the ministry statement.

As of the moment, however, the price of the fourteen F-16 fighters is not known yet, but according to Reuters it could be 1.1 billion euros for all jets.

There were indications for that deal earlier this year, in April, when the U.S. State Department approved the possible sale of fourteen 14 Block 70/72 F-16Vs for Slovakia.

An interesting fact, from a regional point of view, is that Poland, like other NATO nations, operates the F-16, and the Czech Republic and Hungary, which are the closest countries to Slovakia, operate the Gripen.

The first flight of the designed in the Soviet Union twin-engine jet fighter aircraft Mikoyan MiG-29 took place on 6 October 1977 and the aircraft entered service with the Soviet Air Force in July 1982.

The single-engine supersonic F-16 Fighting Falcon is a multirole fighter originally developed by General Dynamics, which is now Lockheed Martin. It was designed for the United States Air Force as an air superiority day fighter as an air superiority day fighter and evolved into a successful all-weather multirole aircraft. Its first flight was 20 January 1974 and the aircraft was introduced on 17 August 1978.

The F-16 is no longer purchased by the U.S. Army. Improved variants are being manufactured for export customers.