WARSAW --- The Polish Ministry of Defense has initiated two projects involving acquisitions of aircraft for the country's armed forces.
The first concerns the purchase of three new surveillance aircraft by 2023. This project is being pursued under the Plomykowka (Barn Owl) program.
The second involves the procurement of three maritime patrol aircraft (MPAs) between 2023 and 2030 being undertaken as the Rybitwa (Tern) program. It reflects an effort to improve the Polish Navy's maritime surveillance, anti-submarine and anti-surface capabilities. Currently the Polish Navy has a limited fixed-wing maritime reconnaissance arm consisting of two PZL An-28s and 13 M-28B "Bryza" (Breeze) aircraft.
Applications to bid for these forthcoming tenders have a deadline of May 20.
No monetary value has been placed on either program, which recently emerged as two military modernization aims being by the relatively new Law & Justice (PiS) party government of Prime Minister Beata Szydlo.
The conservative government's defense minister, Antoni Macierewicz, announced in April that the country's 10-year (2013-2022) military modernization program outlined by the previous Civic Platform government was under-funded by a staggering PLN105 billion ($27.66 billion) should each and every planned program be carried out.
Because of this funding shortfall and the size and scope of the 10-year military modernization program the government may seek to save money by enhancing niche capabilities while forgoing larger projects. As it currently stands, such long-term plans remain unclear.