Poland has signed an agreement with the United States to purchase 32 F-35A Lightning II fighter aircraft worth an estimated worth $4.6 billion
Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak signed the contract today in Deblin, home of the Polish Air Force’s 41st Training Aviation Base. “Today, through the signing of the F-35 deal, the air force is entering a new phase of its development,” the minister said.
In line with earlier announcements, the deal does not comprise an offset agreement. Polish ministry officials have said the decision helped Poland reduce the final price tag of Lockheed Martin’s fifth-generation fighters. Last September, the U.S. State Department approved the sale for a maximum price of $6.5 billion. However, the $4.6 billion price was reached thanks to falling F-35 prices and Warsaw’s decision not to pursue offsets and get a discount instead.
Poland is to become the first user of the F-35s in the Baltic region when it begin to receive the planes in 2024 adding the aircraft to its fleet of 48 F-16 C/D Block 52+ fighters. Subsequently Warsaw plans retire its Soviet-era Sukhoi Su-22 and MiG-29 jets with.
A weapons package did not form part of today’s announcement which will form a future purchase.
The US State Department spokesperson said in a statement, “the acquisition of the world’s most advanced fighter aircraft will improve Poland’s ability to provide collective self-defence.”