MiG-29 accidents proof of need to by fifth-generation fighters - aide

The accidents of MiG-29 planes are dramatic evidence of the correct activities undertaken by the Polish Ministry of Defence with the aim of buying fifth-generation fighters, the head of the Prime Minister's Office, Michał Dworczyk, stated on Tuesday.

A MiG-29 fighter broke up in the central Polish Mazowieckie province on Monday. The pilot ejected and is in good condition. Flights of the plane have been suspended and the circumstances and causes of the incident are being investigated by the Committee for Investigation of National Aviation Accidents. It is the fourth MiG-29 lost since 2016.

Dworczyk underscored in a conversation with journalists at the Sejm (lower house of parliament), that each of the incidents must be "clarified in depth." He also pointed out that in the Technical Modernisation Plan of the Polish Armed Forces, signed last week by Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak, among the most important programmes is the HARPIA programme concerning the purchase of fifth-generation fighters.

He added that the events involving MiG-29s "are dramatic proof of the legitimacy" of activities undertaken by the Ministry of Defence with the aim of buying fifth-generation fighters.

In 2016, at the 22nd Tactical Air Base in Malbork (northern Poland) a fire broke out in a MiG-29 caused by a fault during a technical start-up. The plane could not be repaired. On December 18, 2017, near Kałuszyn in Mazowieckie province, a MiG-29 broke up while coming in to land at the Mińsk Mazowiecki air base. The pilot survived though he did not eject. On the night of July 6, 2018, a MiG-29 from the Malbork air base broke up near Pasłęk in the northern Polish Warmińsko-Mazurskie province. The pilot ejected but did not survive.

On February 15 of this year a MiG-29 fighter from the Malbork base made an emergency landing due to the cabin depressurising during flight.