Poland has issued a formal request to the US for the procurement of 32 Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) combat aircraft, the country's defence minister announced on 27 May.
Mariusz Blaszack said that Poland has made the request as it looks to replace its Warsaw Pact-era fighter inventory under its Harpia programme. According to Jane'sWorld Air Forces , this ageing inventory comprises 21 MiG-29 'Fulcrum' and 26 Sukhoi Su-22 'Fitter' platforms.
Besides its elderly Soviet-built aircraft, the Polish Air Force also fields 48 Lockheed Martin F-16C/D Block 50+ Fighting Falcons. While not mentioned in Blaszack's announcement on Twitter, it is likely that the F-35As will initially augment these aircraft before eventually replacing them.
Further to the F-35As, Poland's request includes a logistics and training package. No value or delivery timeline has been given.