Polish F-35: Price Tag Unveiled, Agreement to Be Signed on Friday
(Source: Defence24.com; posted Jan. 27, 2020)
Polish Minister of Defense Mariusz Błaszczak has announced that the F-35A procurement agreement would be signed on Friday, January 31, in Dęblin, and confirmed that Poland would buy 32 of these fighter jets.

The US Congress approved the Polish procurement of F-35As, with additional auxiliary equipment and services, to a maximum value of up to $6.5 billion. Meanwhile, as Błaszczak noted, Poland will pay $2 billion less, or $4.6 billion, which translates into PLN 17.8 billion.

For the sake of comparison, Belgium, which like Poland is not a partner of the Joint Strike Fighter program and which like Poland is also not seeking offsets, will pay $4.25 billion for the 34 F-35As that it is buying. It could appear that Brussels has negotiated a lower unit price, but in fact the higher price accepted by Poland could be related to the procurement of a larger package of additional equipment and spares, for instance, or a more expensive training package. The matter may be clarified when the agreement is finally signed on Friday.

The amount mentioned by the head of the MoD probably defines the net price of the FMS agreement. When the jets are delivered to Poland, 3 billion zlotys of VAT will need to be added to the price. The tax is collected identically as in case of any other commercial deal; in this case, the Armament Inspectorate will pay the tax to the Tax Office.

The main FMS agreement will probably also cover the logistics and training package, with the infrastructure expansion and armament being a subject to separate contracts.

The value of the agreement concerning the 32 F-35A fighter aircraft will hence be close to the amount of the main FMS agreement concluded in March 2018 for the Phase I of the Wisła air-defense program (two Patriot/IBCS batteries), which cost $4.75 billion.

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