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Lack of spares grounds Polish F-16s

September 11, 2007 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Flight International reported that the Polish air force has integrated the mission control software and improved the availability rate of its F-16 fleet, but a lack of spares is hampering further progress.

One of the Polish F-16s lucky enough to be able to take off?

The air force now has 27 F-16C/D Block 52M+ aircraft on inventory and another four will be delivered by year-end, followed by the last 17 next year. But maintenance troubles mean just 16 are available.

"That means its availability rate is much better than it was in case of implementing Su-22s or MiG-29s. We would be able to get a better rate, but there is a lack of spares," Gen. Andrzej Blasik, Polish Air Force Commander stated.

Earlier this year reported on a shortage of maintenance personnel and a chronical lack of spare parts in the Royal Netherlands Air Force due to which only 40 out of 105 Dutch F-16s were operational. Depot spares, the bane of maintainers...