Poland signed a contract with Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) on Friday to receive 48 FA-50 light fighter jets. The nearly $3bn deal calls for 12 of the aircraft to be delivered as early as 2023 and the rest between 2025 and 2028.
In the Polish Air Force, the FA-50s will replace the Russian MiG-29 and Su-22 fighters, a legacy from the period when the country was in the orbit of the former Soviet Union.
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“Old aircraft will be replaced by modern FA-50 aircraft – this will be a generational leap. The FA-50 are of the same generation as the F-16, which will significantly strengthen the Polish Air Force,” said the Defense Minister, Mariusz Blaszczak.
The FA-50s are part of the Polish fighter fleet renewal plan that also includes 32 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning IIs. The first 5th generation fighters will be delivered from 2024 and will join the 48 F-16 C/D Fighting Falcons that are in service.
Poland’s defense spending should not be limited to the two new planes. The country, which is one of the most staunch opponents of the Putin government after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, has revealed its interest in acquiring fighter jets such as the F-15 Eagle and the also South Korean KF-21 Boramae.