( AFP ) - The Slovak air force took delivery Feb. 29 of 12 MiG-29 fighters modernized by Russian experts in Slovakia as part payment of the country's outstanding debt, the defense ministry said.
The modernized aircraft represented the army's core fighter force, a spokesman said.
Completion of the $74.2 million contract brought the air force to full strength, he added.
"We want at least nine of these fighter aircraft to be on daily stand-by," chief of general staff Lubomir Bulik told the Sita news agency.
The MiG-29s have been refitted to NATO standards, with the biggest improvements in navigational and avionics equipment. They should be operational for up to 15 years.