F-16 for Poland

Last revised September 25, 2015


In April of 1999, Poland joined NATO, and had the task of integrating its Soviet-bloc aircraft with Western air forces. One of the tasks was that of determining a suitable replacement for the aging fleet of MiG-21 fighters that were holdovers from the Warsaw Pact days.

Poland considered the JAS 39 Gripen from Sweden and the Mirage 2000-9 from France. Lockheed Martin proposed the Block 50+ F-16C/D. The F-16C/D had the advantage as it was a combat-proven fighter and was already in service in large numbers with many NATO countries. In addition, it was thought that acquiring the F-16 would give Poland quicker access to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter as soon as it was made available to foreign customers.

The Lockheed Martin offer was for the Block 50/52 F-16C/D. The choice of engine between the F100-PW-229 or F110-GE-129 would be made later, but the radar suite would be the APG-68(V)9, and the aircraft would have the Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System, NATO datalink systems, an advanced integrated defensive electronic warfare suite. The aircraft would be capable of launching the AIM-9X advanced Sidewinder air-to-air missile, and could carry the AGM-154A/C Joint Stand-Off Weapon. The cockpit would be compatible with full night-vision capability.

In December of 2002, Poland selected the F-16 as its future fighter, and signed a letter of Offer and Acceptance on March 15, 2003 for the purchase of 48 F-16C/D Block 52 fighters.

Serials of Polish AF F-16s

03-0040/0075		Lockheed Martin F-16C Block 52 Fighting Falcon
				MSN JC-1/JC-36.  FMS for Polish AF as 4040/4075
				0040 delivered to Polish AF Dec 11, 2008
				0070/2 delivered to Polish AF Sep 11, 2008
				0073/5 delivered to Polish AF Dec 11, 2008
03-0076/0087		Lockheed Martin F-16D Block 52 Fighting Falcon
				MSN JD-1/JD-12.  FMS for Polish AF as 4076/4087

Sources:


  1. Airscene Headlines, Air International, April 2003.

  2. Airscene Headlines, Air International, September 2002.

  3. Polish Air Force--The Last Ten Years, Jerzy Gruszczynski, Air International, June 2002.