Sale of 32 F-35's to Poland

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Unread post11 Sep 2019, 19:51 ... -to-poland


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department said on Wednesday it had approved a proposed sale of 32 Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets worth $6.5 billion to Poland.

In April, the Pentagon told Congress it was considering selling the jets to the European nation, a NATO member, as well as Greece, Romania, Spain and Singapore.

The sale would boost Poland's contributions to NATO and reduce the country's dependence on Russian equipment, a State Department official said in a statement. During the Cold War, Poland, which shares borders with Russia and fellow NATO member Germany, belonged to the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact.

The approval of the sale comes days after U.S. Vice President Mike Pence visited Poland, a key ally in the region, to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the start of World War Two.

Under President Donald Trump, the United States has rolled out a "Buy American" plan that relaxed restrictions on sales and encouraged U.S. officials to take a bigger role in increasing business overseas for the American weapons industry.

However, the United States began the process in April to remove Turkey from the multinational F-35 program after Ankara said it would proceed in purchasing a Russian S-400 missile defense system that NATO officials say is not compatible with the F-35.

Congress was notified of the State Department's approval on Tuesday, a State Department official said.

(Reporting by Bryan Pietsch, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien and Jonathan Oatis)

Copyright 2019 Thomson Reuters.
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Unread post11 Sep 2019, 21:40

Poland cleared to buy F-35 fleet
11 Sep 2019 Aaron Mehta

"...The proposed order covers 32 of the conventional-takeoff-and-landing F-35A variants, with an estimated price tag of $6.5 billion... As with all DSCA notifications, quantities and dollar figures can change during negotiations....

...Poland formally sent its request for the F-35 in May with the goal of replacing its legacy MiG-29 and Su-22 fleets. Procuring the F-35 is part of a broader defense modernization effort from Warsaw, which will see the country spend $47 billion by 2026 on new equipment. Along with the fighters, the proposed package includes 33 F135 engines, electronic warfare and C4 systems, access to the fighter’s Autonomic Logistics Information System, a full mission trainer, and other support capabilities.

Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor on the plane, and Pratt & Whitney is the engine manufacturer. The deal will include some form of industrial offset, to be negotiated between the companies and Warsaw at a later date. Lockheed executives said Poland will get planes with the Block 4 package installed. Greg Ulmer, Lockheed’s vice president and general manager for the program, has expressed an interest in having Poland take part in the industrial base for the planes. “Once Polish companies are approved as our supplier partners, they could make parts not only for the Polish aircraft but also for those supplied to other countries, such as the U.S. or Japan,” Ulmer said...."

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Unread post12 Sep 2019, 03:45 ... nd-460805/

Kremlin and Putin must be furious right now. I think this is Poland's symbolic gesture of a middle finger to Russia.

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