New player on the board? Poland wants the F-35 too.

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Sundowner

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Unread post27 Mar 2007, 14:49

Since today Polish government is interested in participating in JSF program.

Polish air force is based around Su-22 Fitter, and MiG-29 Fulcrum. First jet have only three-four years of service, second will perform it tasks till 2016. If the Fulcrums won’t go thru extensive modernization program, after 2016, Polish Air Force will end up only with 48 F-16C/D-52+ (that will achieve fully operational status in year 2012).

According to Polish Ministry of Defense, Poland need total number of 120 combat aircrafts, which means it soon will be 72 planes short. Solution to that problem is acquiring new airplanes. The airplane Poland is interested in is the F-35A Lightning II. But Poland not only want to buy the airplanes, we want to participate in whole JSF program. The plans are to buy 40-60 new strike fighters.
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skrip00

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Unread post27 Mar 2007, 18:14

I agree. But can they afford it?

I would love Poland to have a whole boatload of F-35s... just to piss the Russians off. :)
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Unread post27 Mar 2007, 20:48

If I remember correctly the sign-in fee to JSF program was something around 50-120 mln USD , that is not much. The problem would be with the final buy. I don't think buying 60 F-35s at once will be possible. But if we have decision now, we will have money to buy 34 in 2015-17, and another 2x16 or 34 few years later, when MiGs will be definitely out of service, and number of Vipers will be down (it is a great aircraft, but s... things happen ;) ).

The one pissed of will not be the Russians - they're pissed by things like NMD missile silos :wink: . The Belarus is another story, when we bought Vipers, they bought few S300 SAM systems, and modernization of its Su-27 and MiGs is in discussion.
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skrip00

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Unread post27 Mar 2007, 23:02

Ohh, F-35s will piss off the Russians. A neighbor with advanced stealth tactical aircraft? Add to that JSOWs? Yep, they'll sh*t themselves over it.
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Unread post28 Mar 2007, 12:33

Russians were also veeery pissed when Latvia and such joined NATO and NATO started patroling with its fighters over those countries.
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Pilotasso

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Unread post28 Mar 2007, 18:36

The gripen is something more down to Earth Poland could afford.
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Unread post28 Mar 2007, 19:51

We already have multirole fighter capable of more missions than Gripen (SEAD), do you want us to make a step back ? :wink:

What's the point of buying new different jet that is doing the same job in the same way ? If make a step, let it be forward, into 'stealth' technology.
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skrip00

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Unread post28 Mar 2007, 20:37

The only logical solution I see is buying F-16 Block 60s with AESA radars to round out their Air Force's numbers. Then maybe buying 1 squadron of F-35s. Its the cheapest solution, but it also gets them some F-35s. They just need to put their best pilots into the F-35s.
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Unread post28 Mar 2007, 20:59

Those Block60s are not cheap, 80mln USD per airframe is not much less than for F-35. Not to mention F-16 production line will be soon closed. Plus - the more F-35 we'll get, the lower maintenance costs will be, especially when there will be only two types of aircrafts - the F-35 and F-16-52, than with three types - F-35, F-16-52 and F-16-60 (that one have GE engines).
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skrip00

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Unread post28 Mar 2007, 21:12

Sundowner wrote:Those Block60s are not cheap, 80mln USD per airframe is not much less than for F-35. Not to mention F-16 production line will be soon closed. Plus - the more F-35 we'll get, the lower maintenance costs will be, especially when there will be only two types of aircrafts - the F-35 and F-16-52, than with three types - F-35, F-16-52 and F-16-60 (that one have GE engines).


True... but how much will the F-35A cost per copy? And how many can Polska afford?
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dwightlooi

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Unread post28 Mar 2007, 21:13

Sundowner wrote:Those Block60s are not cheap, 80mln USD per airframe is not much less than for F-35. Not to mention F-16 production line will be soon closed. Plus - the more F-35 we'll get, the lower maintenance costs will be, especially when there will be only two types of aircrafts - the F-35 and F-16-52, than with three types - F-35, F-16-52 and F-16-60 (that one have GE engines).


It all depends on how soon Poland wants new fighters. The F-16/60 is available NOW. If ordered, it can be delivered in a year or two. The F-35 will not be deliverable to a late comer to the party like Poland before 2016 (Brits and Aussies have basically sucked up all the early delivery slots).

The Block 60 does not have to be GE engined. That is entirely up to the customer. In fact, most block 60 items like the new cockpit and EW suite is also available without the internal IRST or APG-80 AESA. The conformal tanks are optional too. The Block 52++ ordered by Singapore I believe has the conformal tanks and Block 60 cockpit, but not the AESA radar or the GE engines. In short, you don't have to choose between "blocks" really, you just have to choose from a set of equipment options to match your budget and/or requirements.
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Unread post28 Mar 2007, 21:29

Well like I wrote earlier, we need new planes after 2016, so the availability is not that much of a problem, the same with money, if we'll get into the JSF program, got a cost and delivery date, than the money will be found for that buy. And like I wrote, not all 60 at once.

Of course we do have a lot of expenses waiting in near future - we need new SAMs (for base protection the Norwegian NASAMS system will be bought and probably Patriot for other tasks), new transport and attack helicopters, new corvetes for the navy, etc. etc. But these are next 4-6 years, still a lot of time till 2016.
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skrip00

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Unread post28 Mar 2007, 21:43

How will Poland fund all this?

What is Poland's current economic situation?
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Unread post28 Mar 2007, 22:17

I'm not economist, all I can say that the situation is improving, and the military gets more money each year.

In the last 4 years we bought the F-16, wheeled APCs, begin work on our corvette (ORP Gawron), the 'Krab' mobile howitzer, and 'Loara' mobile twin 35mm AAA system are ready and serial production is planed, we modified ZSU-23-4, ZSU-23-2 and 'Osa' systems to standards that make Russians green ;)

I really have no idea where we get money for all of this :)
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skrip00

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Unread post28 Mar 2007, 23:35

Well, I hope they continue improving. I'd love for them to become a modern military power, and to remain a good friend of the USA. :)
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