Poland mulls buying fifth-gen fighters under $49 bln army modernization program
Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak announced Thursday he had signed a military modernization plan allowing the country to spend by 2026 a total of 185 billion zloty (US$49 billion) on new weapons and military equipment.
The acquisition of 32 fifth-generation fighter jets is one of the priority procurement targets within the program, the minister said, according to Defense News.
“I expect both the chief of the General Staff, and the chief of the Armament Inspectorate to immediately initiate actions to perform this task,” Blaszczak said in a Feb 28 ministerial statement.
The acquisition aims to help Poland replace its outdated Soviet-era Sukhoi Su-22 and Mikoyan MiG-29 aircraft.
Other acquisitions to be financed by the program include short-range air defense systems, combat helicopters, cybersecurity systems, and new submarines, according to Blaszczak.
Defense Budget 2019 is close to 44.7 billion zloty, which is 9% larger year-on-year.
Earlier this February, Poland's government announced the planned purchase of 20 HIMARS artillery rocket systems from the United States worth US$414 million as part of a military modernization drive.