The Polish defence ministry has issued a request for proposals to the five manufacturers interested in competing for its 16 aircraft lead-in fighter trainer contract.

Aircraft must be equipped with a fly-by-wire flight-control system as well as long-range radar and possess anti-jamming capabilities. They should be also capable of carrying Mk82 bombs and laser-guided Paveway IIs.

The competitors are Alenia Aermacchi, offering the M-346 Master; BAE Systems with the Hawk AJT; Korea Aerospace Industries/Lockheed Martin offering their T-50P; Aero Vodochody with the L-159T1; and Finnish firm Patria, offering ex-Finnish air force Hawk Mk51/51As. The firms have until 29 July to submit final offers.

Deliveries will be made in two tranches. The first eight aircraft will be in a training configuration and will go to the Polish air force's 4th Training Wing by 30 November 2014. The second batch, with full training and combat capabilities, will arrive by late 2016. The first eight will then be upgraded to full combat status.

Warsaw is aiming to sign off on the deal by late 2011 or early 2012.

Source: Flight International