According to the Letter of Offer and Acceptance signed on January 31 in Deblin, Polish F-35A deliveries would begin in 2024, with the first six of the 32 aircraft on order to follow by 2025.
Poland’s Armament Directorate said deliveries would continue at an annual rate of four to six aircraft, with the final aircraft to be delivered in 2030.
“The first 6 aircraft will be temporarily deployed to one of the airbases in the United States of America, for the sake of training the Polish Air Force aircrews and ground crews,” a representative of the Armament Inspectorate said. They would be based at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, where the F-35 program has its international training hub.
The first F-35s are expected to arrive in Poland between 2025 and 2026 and, according to the US Embassy in Poland, the Polish Air Force will declare Initial Operational Capability with the F-35A in 2028.
“The F-35A jets will be delivered in configuration that would be standard for all of the users receiving the jets that are series manufactured and planned to be delivered between 2024 and 2030. They will be equipped with the latest Block 4 software. The agreement also includes a modernization package that envisages that upgrades introduced later on would be implemented on the aircraft delivered before those upgrades. The Armament Directorate also confirmed that the Polish jets would be fitted with drogue chutes.
The Armament Inspectorate said that Poland will receive just one spare engine, for a total of 33 for 32 aircraft.
The agreement also includes:
-- Ground support equipment and pilots’ equipment,
-- Ground training equipment for airbases, Integrated Training Centre and 8 Full Mission Simulators included,
-- Full logistics support package within the framework of the Global Support Solution, valid until 2030,
-- Operational support IT system for the F-35A,
-- Training for 24 pilots up to instructor level, and for 90 members of the tech support personnel, both to take place in the US.
“The value of the LOA agreement covering delivery of 32 F-35A jets with Pratt & Whitney F-135 engines and a single spare engine, along with a logistics and training package, is defined as USD 4.6 bn.
“Taking Value Added Tax into account related to the value of the military equipment supplies in Poland, the value of the deal, on the date of conclusion, is defined as PLN 20.7 billion. Unit price for a single F-35A (engine included) is USD 87.3 million net, according to the Armaments Inspectorate.
It was also emphasized that the Agreement has a complex profile, and includes procurement of all the equipment needed to secure the operations of the acquired aircraft.
The entire deal will be financed by the MoD’s budget, and payments are to be made to the US between 2020 and 2030.