Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak signed a USD4.6 billion contract for 32 F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft on 31 January at the 4th Training Aviation Wing Headquarters in Dęblin.
This is the second-most expensive acquisition of high-technology military equipment by the Polish Armed Forces after the USD4.7 billion deal for the MIM-104F Patriot surface-to-air missile system signed in March 2018. The 32 F-35A Joint Strike Fighter aircraft will cost $6.5 billion with support.
Accompanied by President Andrzej Duda, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, and US Ambassador to Poland Georgette Mosbacher, Błaszczak said Poland is joining an exclusive club of F-35 operators. “Today the Polish Air Force is reaching the next stage of development,” he added.
Poland has requested to buy thirty-two (32) F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL) Aircraft and thirty-three (33) Pratt & Whitney F-135 Engines. Also included are Electronic Warfare Systems; Command, Control, Communications, Computer, and Intelligence/Communications, Navigational, and Identification (C4I/CNI); Autonomic Logistics Global Support System (ALGS); Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS); Full Mission Trainer; Weapons Employment Capability, and other Subsystems, Features, and Capabilities; F-35 unique infrared flares; reprogramming center; F-35 Performance Based Logistics; software development/integration; aircraft ferry and tanker support; support equipment; tools and test equipment; communications equipment; spares and repair parts; personnel training and training equipment; publications and technical documents; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, logistics, and personnel services; and other related elements of logistics and program support.
This proposed sale of F-35s will provide Poland with a credible defense capability to deter aggression in the region and ensure interoperability with U.S. forces. The proposed sale will augment Poland’s operational aircraft inventory and enhance its air-to-air and air-to-ground self-defense capability. The Polish Air Force’s legacy MiG-29 and Su-22 fleet will be replaced with F-35s. Poland will have no difficulty absorbing these aircraft into its armed forces.
The prime contractors will be Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company in Fort Worth, Texas; and Pratt &Whitney Military Engines in East Hartford, Connecticut.
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