“Poland will soon join the elite group of states whose air forces have the most modern F-35 planes. I want this process to proceed quickly and effectively,” said Minister of National Defence Mariusz Błaszczak after meeting the commander of Eglin Air Force Base in Florida and F-35 aircraft pilots.
On June 10, the minister began his visit to the USA with a trip to Eglin AFB, where he was acquainted with the F-35 development program - the latest generation of planes.
“We are advanced when it comes to the process of acquiring this state-of-the-art equipment - F-35 fighters. This is a big breakthrough in the combat capabilities of Polish air forces. This is a challenge, but it is such an element that will certainly deter the potential aggressor,” Blaszczak said.
The minister said that at the end of May Poland sent a request for the purchase of 32 F-35A aircraft. “We are already in this process, we have filed the letter of offer, and there have already been several meetings between experts from the Polish and United States Air Force. So, we are talking, and I am happy to say that we will finish this process quickly,” he added.
As the minister pointed out, Polish Air Force’s Soviet equipment era is coming to an end, and the era of fifth generation -- the most modern one – is beginning. The minister added that he wanted the Polish pilots to have effective and safe equipment.
“The planned purchase of F-35 fighters fits into the creation of the entire system that would dissuade a potential enemy. Earlier, I signed contracts for the purchase of Patriot and Himars systems,” the minister added.
On Tuesday, June 11, Blaszczak will meet with Acting US Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan at the Pentagon, and will also meet with the US President's Advisor on Security, Ambassador John Bolton, at the National Security Council.
On Wednesday, June 12, in the White House, Błaszczak will take part in the meeting between Polish President Andrzej Duda and US President Donald Trump.
On the last day of the visit, on June 13, at the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Washington, the head of the Polish Defense Ministry will meet with Polish and American veterans.