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Poland plans to acquire two squadrons of Boeing F-15EX Eagle II Fighter Jets.

Since the MSPO 2023 Defense Exhibition, Poland has been in discussions with the American company Boeing regarding the potential acquisition of 32 F-15EX Eagle II fighter jets. This news comes shortly after Lockheed Martin announced that the first F-35A "Husarz" jets destined for Poland are expected to be assembled by next summer in Fort Worth, Texas, before being moved to Fort Smith, Arkansas, for pilot training.
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Boeing F-15EX Eagle II Fighter Jet (Picture source: Boeing)

According to sources at Boeing, discussions took place with representatives from the Polish Armament Agency and the Air Force at the beginning of 2024. Rob Novotny, a Boeing official, stated in an interview with the specialized site Defence24 that the talks also focused on investment opportunities in Poland and cooperation with the local defense industry, notably with WZL Nr 2 and the PGZ group (Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa).

The discussions would explore new areas of cooperation, particularly in the production of components and engineering work for the F-15EX, as well as technical support, as highlighted by Mr. Novotny. These talks could lead to strengthening Boeing's supply chain and industrial base in Poland, thereby offering mutual benefits.

Poland's choice of the F-15EX could significantly boost its military capabilities. The F-15EX is an advanced version of the proven fighter aircraft, equipped with two F110-GE-129 engines, electronic flight controls, a digital cockpit, and an AESA APG-82(V)1 active antenna radar. It also features an advanced electronic warfare suite and can carry up to 12 air-to-air missiles.

Poland's interest in the F-15EX is part of a broader modernization of its military aviation. General Ireneusz Nowak, the chief of staff of the Polish Air Force, had previously indicated that the current capabilities were insufficient to meet the current threat level, necessitating ten fighter squadrons, or 160 aircraft. Currently, the F-16s, the already ordered F-35As, and the F/A-50s form eight squadrons, with plans for future expansion.

Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022, Warsaw has heavily invested in modernizing its military hardware. Among the significant purchases were Abrams tanks, Apache combat helicopters, and HIMARS rocket launchers from the United States, South Korean-made K2 tanks, Chunmoo rocket launchers, K9 self-propelled howitzers, and FA-50 combat aircraft, and at least two Swedish early warning aircraft to complement additional tethered warning systems.

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