Poland has sought to buy F-35 stealth fighters from the United States, its Deputy Minister of Defense Wojciech Skurkiewicz revealed plans to purchase two batches of the Lockheed Martin-made jets.
According to him, the first aircraft will enter the service of the Polish army by2026. The Minister called this decision a turning point and crucial for the Polish Air Force.
"This is a crucial decision that will raise our Air Force to a higher level. The first squadron of F-35 aircraft will be purchased by 2026, the second squadron after 2026," the PAP Agency quoted the Deputy Minister as saying.
The Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak discussed a F-35 purchase during his meeting May 17 with the Executive VP of Lockheed Martin. “I also spoke to him about F-35 fighter jets, which, I am convinced, the Polish Army will soon receive,” Blaszczak said in comments quoted by PAP Agency.
Poland has been on an arms procurement spree from the US after retiring its old Soviet era weapons. In addition to Patriot missile defence systems, and HIMARS artillery rockets in recent years, the Polish military intends to buy a batch of 32 attack helicopters by 2026.
The country has announced a nearly $50 billion procurement plan by 2016, mostly comprising of US-made weapons and modernization of command and control systems.