US Congress approves sale of F-35 aircraft to Poland - MoD

2019-09-27 12:53 update: 2019-09-30, 13:59
Mariusz Blaszczak Photo PAP/Piotr Nowak
Mariusz Blaszczak Photo PAP/Piotr Nowak
The US Congress has approved the sale of F-35 planes to Poland, Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak announced on Friday morning, declaring that tough price negotiations were still ahead of Poland.

"This is one of the final steps before a contract is signed, but this is not the end of our work," Blaszczak wrote on Twitter.

"We will conduct tough negotiations to reach the best possible price," he said.

Several days ago, the US State Department approved the sale of 32 Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets for a maximum price of USD 6.5 billion to Poland. A similar price was included in the US Administration's approval of the F-35 sale to Belgium, which was finally to pay around USD 4.25 billion.

Poland asked the United States to prepare an offer in May for 32 F-35 Lightning II planes as part of Warsaw's plans to purchase a fifth-generation fighter jet.

According to Lockheed Martin, Poland could receive the first four F-35 fighter aircraft in 2024, planes for the first squadron could be handed over by 2026, and the second tranche by 2030.

Speaking to reporters later in the day, Minister Blaszczak said that now Poland will undoubtedly have F-35 fighter planes and stressed that "not every state can have such planes since their sale must be approved by the US authorities."

Blaszczak said that the purchase of F-35 aircraft "will be the largest military equipment contract in Poland's history."

"F-35 will elevate the Polish air force capacity a few levels up," he said, adding that following the purchase, the Polish air force will be among the most state of the art. (PAP)

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