WARSAW, Poland — Polish Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz has announced the government may purchase used F-16 fighter jets for the Polish Air Force from the United States. 

"We are considering to strengthen the capacities of our aircraft fleet and, to be exact, our F-16s," Macierewicz said Jan. 18 at a joint news conference with Prime Minister Beata Szydlo and Interior Minister Mariusz Blaszczak. "This issue is currently under analysis."

Earlier this month, Deputy Defence Minister Bartosz Kownacki said that Warsaw could buy up to 96 secondhand fighter jets for the country’s Air Force. Under the plan, the aircraft are to be overhauled and upgraded by a Polish military plant.

"We are performing analyses whether a purchase of used F-16s would be operationally and economically effective," Kownacki told local daily Dziennik Gazeta Prawna. "It is certain that we need new fighter jets. Buying F-35s at this stage … is not economically justified. We will have to make a decision."

Polish officials news conference

Polish Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz, left, said the country may purchase F-16 fighter jets from the United States, at a news conference with Prime Minister Beata Szydlo, center, and Interior Minister Mariusz Blaszczak, right.
Photo Credit: 2nd Lt. Robert Suchy/Polish Armed Forces via Poland's Ministry of Defence

The new aircraft are expected to replace Poland’s Sukhoi Su-22 and Mikoyan MiG-29 fighter jets. The value of the acquisition was not disclosed.

Macierewicz said that in 2017, the Defence Ministry may also acquire new anti-aircraft and air defense systems, submarines, and helicopters, as well as upgrade the military’s cybersecurity capacities. The latter program is estimated to be worth about 1 billion zloty (US $244 million), according to the Polish minister.