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Poland requests JASSM weapons for F-16 fleet

Poland is looking to add the Lockheed Martin AGM-158A Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) to its fleet of Lockheed F-16 fighters, under a potential acquisition worth around $500 million.

Disclosed to the US Congress on 17 September, the proposed Foreign Military Sales programme deal with Warsaw would include 40 AGM-158As, plus flight certification test vehicles, instrumented test weapons and inert JASSM rounds.

“The proposed sale will improve Poland’s capability to meet current and future threats of enemy air and ground weapons systems,… strengthen its air-to-ground strike capabilities and increase its contribution to future NATO operations,” the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a notification. “Poland will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defence,” it adds.

Warsaw’s request comes at a time of heightened tension with Moscow, prompted by the latter’s continuing support for pro-Russian separatists who are causing unrest in eastern Ukraine.

The Polish air force is also seeking an operational flightplan upgrade for its Block 52-standard F-16C/Ds. This would take the configuration to the M6.5 tape configuration, and include full integration of the JASSM weapon system.

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Poland has an active fleet of 48 F-16C/Ds, which Flightglobal’s MiliCAS database records as having been delivered between 2006 and 2008.

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control describes the roughly 1,020kg (2,250lb) AGM-158A as having a strike range in excess of 200nm (370km).

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