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Poland to purchase modern US fighters

PR dla Zagranicy
Michał Owczarek 06.04.2019 13:40
Poland is to purchase the newest US F-35 combat aircraft according to the country’s defence minister Mariusz Błaszczak.
Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak.

Photo: PAP/Piotr NowakPolish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak. Photo: PAP/Piotr Nowak

A report recently submitted to the US House of Representatives says that future potential customers include European allies such as Poland, Greece, Romania and Spain that want to bulk up their defenses in the face of a strengthening Russia. In response to the news, Lockheed Martin, the company manufacturing the F-35, revealed that the first aircraft could arrive in Poland within five years.

“I’m very happy about the news. It comes as no surprise to me, though, as negotiations have already begun,” Błaszczak told Polish Radio on Friday. “The fact that the information has been made public means the US is willing to make the negotiations a success as soon as possible,” he added.

The news about a possible F-35 purchase by Poland transpired in early March when President Andrzej Duda mentioned the idea in an interview with a public radio station. Duda pointed out that the air forces have to be modernised and ditch post-Soviet aircraft.

Poland’s air force last month grounded its entire fleet of aging Soviet-designed MiG-29 jets pending an investigation following a crash north-east of Warsaw. After the accident, the Polish defence ministry said it aimed to buy over 30 multi-role "fifth-generation" fighters to replace worn-out Soviet-era aircraft by 2026 as part of the country’s multibillion military upgrade programme.


Source: IAR, PAP

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