13:57 GMT +322 September 2019
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    Poland to Substitute Soviet-Era Aircraft With US F-35 Fighter Jets

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    Earlier this year, a Pentagon official reportedly told the US House of Commons that the United States wanted to expand F-35 sales to several EU countries, including Poland.

    Speaking on the air on Polskie Radio, Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said that he was hoping to accelerate talks with the United States on the purchase of F-35 stealth fighters.

    "I've spoken on the issue with my US counterpart Patrick Shanahan and the producer, Lockheed Martin. This will take several years, but we're on a good path to accelerating the process," Blaszczak said, commenting on the dates of supply.

    The cabinet minister further noted that the aircraft will be purchased in reliance upon an agreement with the US — that is to say, Washington announces the maximum price of the contract first and then the sides will negotiate the deal.

    In March 2019, Blaszczak signed a framework for the technical modernisation of the country's armed forces by 2026. Poland plans to replace its Soviet-era Su-22 and MiG-29 warplanes for 32 US-made F-35s.

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    Tags:
    F-35, Patrick M. Shanahan, Mariusz Blaszczak, Poland, United States
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