The United States has offered Slovakia 12 new military helicopters in return for the MiG-29 fighter jets the European country is providing to Ukraine, Slovakia’s defense minister said on Wednesday.
Under the offer, Slovakia will pay $340 million for Bell AH-1Z attack choppers in a deal worth about $1 billion that also includes 500 AGM-114 Hellfire II missiles and training, Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad said .
US foreign military financing will cover the other $660 million, he said. The European Union will also send Slovakia $213 million in additional compensation, Nad said.
SLOVAKIA’S GOVERNMENT APPROVED PLAN TO SEND ITS FLEET OF 13 SOVIET-ERA MIG-29 FIGHTER JETS TO UKRAINE
The Slovak government still has to accept the offer.
Nad said his country’s armed forces currently do not have any combat helicopters and that the deal will “significantly increase Slovakia’s defense capabilities.”
On Friday, the Slovak government approved a plan to give Ukraine its fleet of 13 Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets, becoming the second NATO member country to comply with the Ukrainian government’s pleas for the warplanes help defend against Russian aggression.
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Slovakia grounded its MiGs last summer due to a lack of spare parts and expertise to help maintain them. Fellow NATO members Poland and the Czech Republic stepped in to monitor Slovak airspace.
Slovakia previously signed an agreement to buy 14 US F-16 Block 70/72 fighter jets, but delivery has been pushed back two years with the first aircraft arriving in early 2024.