Mariusz Blaszczak, the head of the Polish Ministry of Defense (MoD), outlined a number of priority procurements for the Polish Armed Forces in 2020. In his interview with the Radio Information Agency (IAR) Blaszczak acknowledged that finalization of procurement of 32 F-35 Lightning II 5th generation multirole fighter aircraft is top on the department’s priority list. He informed, that negotiations with the U.S. Government in regards to the planned acquisition are nearing the end. ‘Negotiations are advanced. Early this year I will have some good news regarding this matter’, said Blaszczak (New Year, new goals for Poland’s security, 2020-01-02; U.S. approves F-35 sale to Poland, 2019-09-11).
Another important step in the modernization of the Polish Armed Forces will be procurement or leasing of two 2nd hand, conventional submarines, which will be an interim solution, before launching of the ‘Orka’ programme, that calls for acquisition of a number of next generation submarines in order to replace currently used platforms.
Late last year minister Blaszczak announced that his department intends to negotiate procurement of two 2nd hand submarines from Sweden, the HMS Södermanland and HMS Östergötland of the Södermanland-class. These vessels are expected to be leased from Sweden until 2026, when Poland would formally take possession of them.
In 2020 Poland intends also to establish an Armaments Agency, which would be responsible for procurement of weapons systems and other kinds of military equipment on behalf of the MoD. The new institution is expected to increase the effectiveness of Polish military procurement programmes and modernization projects.