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Poland launches new fighter study

The Polish defence ministry's armament inspectorate has launched the analysis/market survey phase of a process supporting a new multirole fighter selection.

According to the defence ministry, the proposed "Harpia" acquisition "should increase the Polish air force's capability to perform offensive and defensive counter-air missions, and to support land, sea, and special operations".

Defence ministry officials say Warsaw intends to equip at least two squadrons of new aircraft – 32 units – with deliveries to start in 2024. The selected type will replace the air force's current fleets of 31 RAC MiG-29 fighters and 18 Sukhoi Su-22 ground-attack aircraft (below).

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Warsaw is also looking to obtain an electronic warfare capability, but is not clear if this mission will be performed using the new fighter or a dedicated type.

Potential bidders are required to submit responses including a general description of their proposed equipment by 18 December. Selected contenders will later be issued with a request for information.

Likely candidates for the Harpia requirement include the Eurofighter Typhoon, Saab Gripen and a US government-backed proposal with the Lockheed Martin F-16V.