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Poland’s F-35 Acquisition in Limbo as Delivery Delayed Indefinitely

The handover of the first fifth-generation F-35A fighter planes made by the United States to Poland has been postponed. F-35As from batches designated for delivery to the Polish Air Force in 2026 and 2027 will arrive later than originally planned.

According to a Polish publication, the delivery of components for the Polish F-35s is delayed compared to the initial schedule.

Initially, the delivery of six fighter planes scheduled for 2026 was supposed to begin in March and finish in June of the same year. However, the latest schedule calls for deliveries to take place in November and December 2026.

Four more planes, which were supposed to be transferred during the first half of 2027, should now be delivered by the end of that year.

The online Polish media outlet notes that delivery dates might still change, and will be finalized when the Pentagon orders the production of fighter planes that will be delivered to Poland.

Under the Foreign Military Sales Program, Poland was awarded a contract to purchase planes for its air force, as part of a broader plan to produce F-35s for the US military and foreign customers. The first deliveries are set to begin in 2024, with some planes initially remaining in the US for use in training Polish pilots.

Construction of the first plane began in April 2023, starting with the central wing node of the fighter fuselage. The first F-35A fighter planes are expected to arrive at the Polish airbase in Lask in 2026.

During a visit to the Lockheed Martin facility in the US, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced his intention to speed up the delivery of fifth-generation fighter planes to Poland.

Poland signed a $4.6 billion contract for the purchase of 32 F-35 Lightning II planes on January 31, 2020. The contract stipulates that the US will train 24 pilots and 90 ground personnel.

In 2021, Poland began the process of training future pilots for the fifth-generation F-35A Lightning II multirole fighter plane.

NATO Commander Increases Prediction to 550 F-35s in Europe by 2030 | Air & Space Forces Magazine

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