The U.S. State Department has approved a possible sale of 32 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft to Poland for an estimated cost of $6.5 billion.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale, which will be conducted under the U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program, on September 10.
Poland has earlier requested to buy 32 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL) Aircraft and 33 Pratt & Whitney F-135 Engines.
Also included in the sales package 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.
The advanced fifth generation fighter jets are being procured under the Polish Air Force’s Harpia (Harpy) programme to replace the ageing fleet of Soviet-era fighters it operates which is comprised of 21 MiG-29 ‘Fulcrum’ and 26 Sukhoi Su-22 ‘Fitter’ jets. The proposed sale of F-35s will enhance the service’s air-to-air and air-to-ground self-defense capability.
The Polish Air Force also operates 48 U.S.-made Lockheed Martin F-16C/D Block 50+ Fighting Falcon combat jets. The newly procured F-35As will initially complement F-16s but will reportedly replace them in the future.
The prime contractors of the sale will be Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company in Fort Worth, Texas; and Pratt &Whitney Military Engines in East Hartford, Connecticut.