A Slovak Air Force MiG-29 fighter jet crashed at the village of Nové Sady in the Ceroviny neighbourhood in Nitra region at approx. 21:30hrs on Saturday, September 28.
The pilot managed to eject before the crash and survived the incident. The incident occurred during a training flight involving two MiG-29s. The other aircraft touched down safely at Sliač Air Base, according to the Air Force.
The cause of the crash is currently under investigation. The accident is being investigated by the District Directorate of the SVK Police Corps in Nitra and is supervised by the prosecutor.
All training flights of MiG-29s have been temporarily suspended following the crash, yet NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence System (NATINAMDS) is fully operational, said Defence Minister Peter Gajdoš.
Slovak Air Force’s ageing fleet of MiG-29s will be replaced by the 14 F-16 Block 70 fighter aircraft currently being procured from the United States under the U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. The contract for the procurement, worth around $800 million, was recently awarded to Lockheed Martin Aeronautics.
According to reports, the Slovak Air Force will take delivery of its first F-16 in the fourth quarter of 2022, with the last aircraft to be delivered by the end of 2023. Of the 14 aircraft, 12 jets will be one-seaters and 2 jets will be two-seat trainers.