Poland has deepened its interest in the Lockheed Martin F-35, with the country’s defence minister indicating that it intends to purchase 32 examples of the fifth-generation fighter.
Mariusz Blaszczak says it intends to acquire the A-model variant to replace its Soviet-era RAC MiG-29 and Sukhoi Su-22 aircraft under the Harpia programme.
"Fifth-generation fighters are already on the horizon. Today we sent a [letter of request], an offer inquiry, to our partners from the United States regarding the purchase of 32 F-35A aircraft, along with a logistics and training package.
“It is time to replace post-Soviet equipment with the most modern fighters,” wrote Blaszczak on Twitter.
Blaszczak says the acquisition of “state-of-the-art equipment” is a “priority” for the government.
In mid-May, deputy of defence minister Wojciech Skurkiewicz told the Polish parliament that the first 16-strong squadron of F-35As will be purchased under the scope of the current armed forces modernisation plan covering the 2017-2026 period; a second squadron will be acquired after 2026.