The Polish defense ministry held a ceremony in Dęblin on January 31 to mark the official signing of a letter of offer and acceptance (LOA) for the acquisition of 32 F-35A conventional take off and landing (CTOL) variant jets.
Initial deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2024 and in-country deliveries in 2026. All aircraft from the $4.6 billion program, dubbed “Harpy” in Poland, are expected to be delivered by 2030.
As outlined by the defense ministry, the aircraft will be delivered at a pace of four to six units a year.
With the Polish government’s selection of the Block IV F-35A, Poland becomes the 14th nation and 10th NATO country to join the F-35 program of record. The F-35 has an operational mission radius greater than 700 nautical miles in low observable configurations and internal fuel capacity of nearly 19,000 pounds. When the mission doesn’t require low observability, the F-35 can carry more than 18,000 pounds of ordnance.
Additionally, Poland benefits from a planned modernization program that will be funded by the full F-35 enterprise and will continue to enhance the aircraft’s weapons capacity, electronic warfare suite, sensor capability and more.
What is more, the contract includes training services and the delivery of eight flight simulators. The unit price of the F-35A aircraft (including the engine) is USD 87.3 million.
The first six aircraft will be temporarily deployed in 2024-2025 at one of the air bases in the US for the training pilots and technical personnel of the Polish Air Force. The arrival of the first aircraft to Poland is expected at the turn of 2025/26.