Poland has signed a deal to purchase 32 F-35A fighter aircraft

On Friday 31, 2020, Poland has signed a deal of $4.6 billion with the United States for the purchase of 32 F-35A fighter aircraft. Poland expects to take delivery of the first F-35A Lightning II fighter between 2024 and 2030.

Poland has signed a deal to purchase 32 F 35A fighter aircraft 925 001 Capt. Andrew Olson, F-35 Demonstration Team pilot and commander, performs a dedication pass during the Melbourne Air and Space Show in Melbourne, Fla., March 30, 2019. (Picture source U.S. Air Force)

Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak signed the deal and handed the document to the U.S. ambassador to Poland, Georgette Mosbacher, during a ceremony at an air force academy in the central town of Deblin.

On Septembre 2019, the U.S. State Department had made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Poland of thirty-two (32) F-35A Joint Strike Fighter aircraft with support for an estimated cost of $6.5 billion.

Poland had 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 in the request were 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.

The Polish air forces are mainly equipped with Soviet fighter aircraft including MiG-21s, MiG-23s, MiG-29s, Su-20s and Su-22s. In 2002, the F-16C/D Block 52+ from the American company Lockheed Martin was chosen as a new multirole fighter for the WLiOP, the first deliveries taking place in November 2006 and continued until 2008 under Peace Sky program. As of 2011 the Polish Air Force has three squadrons of F-16s: two stationed at the 31st Tactical Air Base near Poznań and the 10th Tactical Squadron at the 32nd Air Base near Łask.

On 27 February 2014 Poland signed a €280 million contract with Alenia Aermacchi for 8 M-346 Master advanced training jets. The first two Masters arrived in Poland accompanied by Team Iskry on November 14, 2016

The F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, all-weather, stealth multirole combat aircraft, manufactured by the American Company Lockheed Martin. It can be used to perform ground-attack and air-superiority missions.

The aircraft was developed by Lockheed Martin and its subcontractors, which include Northrop Grumman, Pratt & Whitney, and BAE Systems. The F-35 has three main variants: the conventional takeoff and landing F-35A (CTOL), the short take-off and vertical-landing F-35B (STOVL), and the carrier-based F-35C (CV).

The F-35 is in service with 10 countries including Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Turkey, and United States. Poland will be the 10th NATO member nation to use F-35 fighters.