MILMAG 01/2019 online »

MILMAG - The Military MagazineU.S. approves F-35 sale to Poland - MILMAG - The Military Magazine

U.S. approves F-35 sale to Poland

Poland has requested to buy thirty-two F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL) Aircraft and thirty-three 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;

The Polish MoD will acquire 32 multirole, 5th generation fighter jets from U.S. / Picture: USAFThe sale also includes 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.  The estimated cost is $6.5 billion.

Acquisition 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.

The prime contractors will be Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company in Fort Worth, Texas; and Pratt &Whitney Military Engines in East Hartford, Connecticut.  There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale. 

Comment:
Under the Harpia programme Poland intends to procure at least 32 new, multirole, 5th generation fighter aircraft. However, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has already stated that the future fleet of Polish F-35s could be augmented by an additional batch of 16 jets, which might be acquired in the 2nd half of the 2020’.

Decision to procure U.S. F-35 fighter jets was taken after a brief overview of market availability, which lead to the conclusion that only the Lockheed Martin-manufactured fighters meet the requirements of the Polish Air Force. This acquisition will allow for gradual replacement of the currently operated fleet of bombers/fighters, including legacy Su-22 and MiG-29 jets.

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