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Poland to become European service hub for the F-16

August 5, 2008 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Lockheed Martin will sign an agreement with the Military Aviation Depot No.2 from Bydgoszcz, northern Poland, to jointly establish the F-16 Service Planning Office.

PolAF F-16C block 52 #4069 has just departed NAS Fort Worth on March 19th, 2008 during its first flight after leaving the production line. [Photo by Keith Robinson]

"The Military Aviation Depot No.2 in Bydgoszcz will probably be the largest F-16 service in Europe," Polish Deputy Minister of the Economy Dariusz Bogdan announced in April, when the Polish government and Lockheed Martin were signing a new agreement broadening the scope of the US investments in Poland to offset Poland's purchase of 48 F-16 fighters ordered from the USA.

In the first year of its operation, the Military Aviation Depot in Bydgoszcz will conduct technical and economic analyses of the aspects of the planned service of F-16 aircraft.

The Depot is said to be fully operational and ready to receive the first machines for servicing within two to three years.

"So far, the Polish Defence Ministry and us have been focusing on the construction and supply of the F-16s. Now it is time to concentrate on more long-term issues, such as technical support," Philip Georgariou, Director responsible for the Polish F-16 offset program at Lockheed Martin Corporation, said on TVN 24, a Polish news channel.

Currently, 41 out of 48 F-16 Fighting Falcons ordered from the USA are operated by the Polish Air Force.

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