Top Lockheed Martin Exec Spills Beans on Likely Base for Poland's Second F-35A Squadron - Report

CC0 / / Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II
Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.10.2021
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A top Lockheed Martin executive, during a September address at the 29th MSPO defence show in Kielce, Poland, may have accidentally revealed the probable base location for the second Polish Air Force F-35A squadron.
The big reveal came during a September 8th speech given by Lockheed Martin's J.R. McDonald, who serves as the company's vice president of business development for the integrated fighter group.
The accidental reveal detailed that a likely spot for the squadron could be the 21st Tactical Air Base "Maj Stefan Stec" in Świdwin, according to Breaking Defence. Although McDonald may have made a misstep, there is yet to be an official announcement from the Polish government on a second location.
Świdwin is a town in the West Pomeranian Voivodeship of northwestern Poland, sitting roughly 60 kilometres from the Baltic Sea, an area that would provide an ideal environment for F-35s to meet up with allied airpower.
If and when an official announcement is made, the location would not entirely be a surprise, as the Polish town is already home to a Polish Air Force squadron equipped with a dozen Russian-made SU-22M4 Fitters and six Su-22UM3K trainers.

According to McDonald, the "majority, if not all 32 Polish F-35As will be updated to Block 4, and Poland will not pay any additional costs".

The first batch of eight F-35s will be delivered to Poland sometime between 2024 and 2025, with the second batch expected to be delivered in 2026 or 2027.
To maintain skilled pilots and technicians, Warsaw plans to keep the Fitters in inventory until 2025.
It remains unclear whether officials intend to move personnel from Świdwin to support the F-35 squadron upon retirement, or be transferred to other bases.
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