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Poland to buy 5th-gen fighter jets around 2025

June 2, 2017 (Photo Credit: Master Sgt. Benjamin Wilson/U.S. Air Force)
WARSAW, Poland — Polish Deputy Defence Minister Tomasz Szatkowski has announced plans by Warsaw to acquire fifth-generation fighter jets around 2025.

The acquisition will be carried out under the Harpia program (Harpy in English), which is planned to be launched next year, Szatkowski said at a panel discussion held by Warsaw-based think tank Polityka Insight. The procurements will be enabled by Warsaw’s plans to increase the country’s military spending from the current level of 2 percent of its gross domestic product to 2.5 percent in the coming years, according to the deputy defense minister.

The latest announcement comes as the Defence Ministry is developing its procurement plan for the years 2017 to 2026. Ministry officials have said that Warsaw might purchase two squadrons of F-35 Lightning II jets, consisting of a total of 32 aircraft. The planned procurement of fifth-generation fighters was also included in the ministry’s "Concept of Defence of the Republic of Poland," a strategic document released May 23.

That said, earlier this year, Polish Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz stated that the country’s government may purchase used F-16 fighter jets for the Polish Air Force from the United States. The aircraft would be overhauled and upgraded by the Polish state-run defense industry. The new jets are designed to replace Poland’s Soviet-designed Sukhoi Su-22 and Mikoyan MiG-29 fighters.

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