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Polish jet fighter tender likely after NATO entry

March 6, 1998 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Poland will probably invite bids to replace some of its old communist-era jet fighters only after it joins NATO next year, Prime Minister Jerzy Buzeksaid on Friday.
Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary, the former Soviet bloc's leaders in economic and democratic reforms, are expected to be admitted to NATO in April next year if parliaments of the pact's 16 member state approve the enlargement.

Orders for new planes are likely to spread over many years because of the defense ministry's limited budget. The government expects the jet supplier to offer an offset package of work for Polish factories amounting to 100 percent of the contract value.