Polish deputy defence minister Romauld Szeremietiew has announced that the country will go ahead with a planned Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI)-led upgrade of 20 of the air force's Sukhoi Su-22 fighter-bombers (Flight International, 16- 22 May).

The deal, reportedly worth $120 million, means it is unlikely that Poland will issue a request for proposals for new supersonic fighters until after parliamentary elections are held early next year.

It is believed that the two sides have virtually agreed the deal but not yet signed the final contract. The Su-22s will be equipped by IAI's Lahav division with an Elta synthetic aperture radar, multifunction colour displays, a wide-angle head-up display and a new mission computer. The work will be undertaken in partnership with Polish industry.

Meanwhile, BAE Systems has placed its largest work package to date in Poland with a deal for PZL-Mielec to produce all tail fins and flaps for the UK company's Avro RJ regional jets. BAE and its partner Saab are attempting to sell Poland Gripen fighters as a long-term replacement for the country's ageing Soviet-era aircraft.

BAE says the jigs for the Avro RJ components are already being transferred from the UK to Poland, and that the Polish company will begin production in the fourth quarter. "This is by far the biggest package of work we have put into a single factory in central Europe," says BAE.

Source: Flight International