Poland’s Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak signed an agreement for the purchase of 48 light combat planes from South Korea on Friday, at the 23rd Tactical Aircraft Base in Mińsk Mazowiecki near Warsaw. The Polish President Andrzej Duda was present at the ceremony.
The total value of the contracts for all 48 fighter jets amounts to USD 3 billion. The first batch of FA-50 planes will be delivered in 2023 and will be as per Korean configuration. The next 36 fighter jets will be adapted to the requirements of the Polish Air Force and will be delivered at a later date.
Further anticipated agreements with South Korea will center on the purchase of armaments and technology transfers.
-#SouthKorea on a roll
-#Poland is sealing $3 bn deals for 48 #SouthKorean FA-50 fighter planes, today
-Last month both countries signed a contracts for acquisition of $5.8 billion worth of South Korean tanks & howitzers#IndianArmy #IndianAirForce pic.twitter.com/ksSLVCEoRz
— Insightful Geopolitics (@InsightGL) September 16, 2022
A generational leap
“It is yet another historic day as new prospects are opening up for the Polish Armed Forces,” Minister Błaszczak said after he signed the document.
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The FA-50s will replace the old Soviet-era MiG-29 fighters, which Defence Minister Błaszczak calls a “generational leap”.
“The contracts also include a training package with link trainers, simulators and a logistics package,” the defence minister added. He also pointed out that “we’ve also agreed to build a service centre in Poland based on cooperation between Korea Aerospace Industries and Polish Armaments Group.”
According to the defence minister, the FA-50 planes are light, multi-functional and based on the model of the US-made F-16 fighters Poland already uses, so the infrastructure should be adapted seamlessly.
He added that the FA-50 is an ideal aircraft for training pilots to fly the F-16 and that they should only need a few hours to adapt.