Harpia Fighter Procurement Details - Polish F-35 Deal Unveiled
A single example of the F-35 will have a pricetag of 87.3 million dollars for the Polish taxpayer, as Defence24.pl found out, after asking questions to the spokesman of the Polish MoD’s Armament Inspectorate, Major Krzysztof Płatek. We have also unveiled new details pertaining to the agreement signed today.
Polish F-35A deliveries would begin in 2024. Delivery of the first 6 out of 32 ordered examples is scheduled to happen between 2024 and 2025. Then 4-6 airframes per year would be delivered, until 32 examples are received in 2030. “The first 6 aircraft will be temporarily deployed to one of the airbases in the United States of America, for the sake of training the Polish Air Force aircrews and ground crews”, representative of the Armament Inspectorate told us. Considering the cost of training and the process adopted so far by the F-35 export users, we may speculate that the above refers to the Luke AFB. The first jets are expected to arrive in Poland between 2025 and 2026. According to the US Embassy in Poland, the Polish AF are to declare IOC with F-35A until 2028.
“The F-35A jets will be delivered in configuration that would be standard for all of the users receiving the jets that are series manufactured and planned to be delivered between 2024 and 2030. They would be equipped with the latest Block 4 software. The agreement also includes a modernization package that envisages that upgrades introduced later on would be implemented on the aircraft delivered before those upgrades. Płatek also confirmed that the Polish jets would be fitted with drogue chutes.
Drogue chute of the Polish F-16C Jastrząb. A similar solution is going to be implemented on the F-35A. Image Credit: Maciej Szopa/Defence24
The Armament Inspectorate also confirmed that Poland is getting a single spare engine which means that the Air Force would receive 33 engines, 32 of which would be fitted onto the jets.
The agreement also includes:
- Ground support equipment and pilots’ equipment,
- Ground training equipment for airbases, Integrated Training Centre and 8 Full Mission Simulators included,
- Full logistics support package within the framework of the Global Support Solution, valid until 2030,
- Operational support IT system for the F-35A,
- Training for 24 pilots, up to the instructor level as well; training for 90 members of the tech support personnel; both to happen in the US.
“The value of the LOA agreement covering delivery of 32 F-35A jets with Pratt & Whitney F-135 engines and a single spare engine, along with a logistics and training package, is defined as USD 4.6 bn. Taking the Value Added Tax into account related to the value of the military equipment supplies in Poland, the value of the deal, on the date of conclusion, is defined as PLN 20.7 billion. Unit price for a single F-35A (engine included) is USD 87.3 million, net” - major Płatek informs. He also emphasized that the Agreement has a complex profile and it includes procurement of all equipment needed to secure the operations of the aircraft acquired. The whole deal will be covered by the MoD’s budget. The payment is to be made to the US between 2020 and 2030.