Procurement: February 13, 2002


Poland continues to move toward an August 2002 decision on buying new fighters. Competitors include the American F-16, French Mirage-2000-5-2, and the Swedish JAS39 Gryphon. The Poles need 60-70 aircraft, and the original plan called for buying 44 new aircraft and 16 used ones (since the used ones could be available faster). Trying to save money, the Poles are looking at a German offer to hand over the 23 MiG-29s (converted to be NATO inter-operable) which the Germans plan to discard in 2003. If that happens, the Poles would probably buy 48 new aircraft only. The Poles are seriously considering a plan to buy the American F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in 2015 to replace the last of its MiG-29s and Su-22s. The future purchase of F-35s could give the American F-16 an edge in the current competition.--Stephen V Cole


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