U.S. Congress backs 6.5 billion dollar sale of F-35 jets to Poland
U.S. Congress has approved the sale of F-35 jet fighters to Poland - Poland's Minister of Defense Mariusz Błaszczak informed on Friday. Next stage would be price negotiations.
"The U.S. Congress has approved the sale of 32 latest F-35 jet fighters to Poland. This is one of the last steps before signing the contract, but it doesn't mean that our work is over. We will negotiate tough to receive the best price," Błaszczak wrote on Twitter.
Several days ago the Department of State backed the sale of the 32 machines for a maximum price of 6.5 billion dollars. Belgium was quoted a similar price for the planes, but ended up having to pay around 4.25 billion dollars. Błaszczak said at the time that Poland would negotiate a similar price.
Poland asked the USA for an offer for 32 F-35A Lightning II aircraft in May. According to Lockheed Martin, Poland could get the first four machines in 2024. Initially, they would be used for training pilots and maintenance in the USA. Planes for the first squadron (12-16 machines) would be delivered by 2026, whereas the second tranche - by 2030.
The sale would boost Poland's contributions to NATO and reduce the country's dependence on Russian equipment, a State Department official said in a statement. During the Cold War, Poland, which shares borders with Russia and fellow NATO member Germany, belonged to the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact.
Under President Donald Trump, the United States has rolled out a "Buy American" plan that relaxed restrictions on sales and encouraged U.S. officials to take a bigger role in increasing business overseas for the American weapons industry.
Autor: gf / Źródło: TVN24 News in English, PAP, Reuters
Źródło zdjęcia głównego: US Air Force