The Polish Ministry of National Defense has announced that the Sukhoi Su-22M4 and Su-22UM3K aircraft will remain in service after 2015.
Poland currently operates two fully-staffed Su-22 squadrons at the 21st Tactical Air Base in Swidwin for a total of 32 aircraft (26 Su-22M4 attack aircraft and 6 Su-22UM3K conversion trainers).
The operational aircraft will be selected according to their technical condition, and the Polish Air Force and WZL-2 military aviation plant in Bydgoszcz are already preparing for these inspections, according to Dziennikz Brojn.
Upgrading the aircraft for the remaining years of service will involve only the exchange of their radios with a step 8.33 kHz (European requirement). A second possible modification might change units to the Anglo-Saxon model (knots and feet), and descriptions on the machine will also be in English. Such a procedure is to allow freely cooperate with other aircrafts of the Air Force and NATO, the report added.
The cost of the modifications is estimated at about 5 million PLN per plane (about 1,2 milion euro). The works will be done especially in Bydgoszcz WZL-2 with the participation of other companies of the national defense (eg WZL No. 4 will deal with engines).
The main problem for keeping them in service for the next 10 years is the small stocks of guided weapons, as Poland has only about 260 missiles H-25 and H-29.