Air Force

Polish F-16 Jets To Get More Guided Bomb Units

The Armament Inspectorate has begun a procurement procedure, the goal of which would be to acquire GBU-38 bombs used by the Polish F-16 fighter aircraft. In total, throughout the period between 2017 and 2022, the Polish Air Force is planning to acquire 480 guided bombs of this type.

The tendering procedure which began on 15th December this year, the aim of which is to procure GBU-38 JDAM guided bombs, has been divided into two tasks by the Armament Inspectorate. The first portion of the said procurement concerns acquisition of 40 GBU-38 B/B bombs, whereas the GBU-38 package includes the KMU-572 B/B guidance kit, FMU-152A/B fuse and Mk 82 free-fall bomb. The whole set, along with the support bundle, is expected to be delivered until 30th October 2017.

The second task is expected to be implemented over a period of several years, throughout which the 31st Tactical Air Base in Krzesiny would receive 440 examples of the GBU-38 bombs. According to the presented schedule, until 31st October 2018 another 40 examples would be delivered, while during the following years subsequent batches are expected to be delivered in lots of 100 examples each, on the following deadlines: 31st October 2019, 31st October 2020, 31st October 2021 and 31st October 2022.

The bombs shall undergo certification, so that they may be carried by the Polish F-16C/D Block 52+ aircraft, and maintained with the use of the existing Polish equipment used by the ground crews. JDAM is a guided weapons system utilizing an INS/GPS navigation. For the purpose of creating the JDAM bomb units, classic free-fall bombs are being used. In case of the GBU-38, 500 lbs Mk 82 bomb constitutes the basis for the JDAM unit. JDAMs allow the jets to attack their targets at distances of more than 20 kilometres, outside the range of the VSHORAD systems that may be potentially defending the target. Weaponnry of this sort has already been used by the Polish F-16 jets, now the stock of the JDAM bombs would be complemented and expanded.

Recently, the Polish Armed Forces have acquired or have initiated tendering procedures concerning the procurement of ordnance for the F-16 Block 52+ aircraft operated by the 31st and 32nd Tactical Airbases. A few days ago, information has been published that 440 GBU-12 D/B Paveway guided bombs are expected to be acquired, within the scope of a similar tender. Moreover, the acquisition plans also include 550 Mk 82 free-fall bombs. On 30th November, the Armament Inspectorate announced that steps are going to be taken to procure 200 guided training bombs – this purchase is going to be covered by an amount of PLN 12 million. Moreover, Mesko S.A. facility has been selected to deliver, throughout the period between 2017 and 2019 and in 2021, in total, 108 thousand of 20 mm rounds using the TP RRR LD M2 training projectile. Furthermore, acquisition of 70 JASSM-ER missiles has also been planned. The range of these missiles exceeds 900 kilometres.

Read more: 70 JASSM-ER Missiles for the Polish F-16 Fighters. State Department Issues A Consent.