Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Poland continues to deepen its relationship with the United States with the aim to improve the quality of its military-industrial complex.
Over the course of the next five years, the Polish military industry will repair and service the US Air Force’s F-16 fighter jets in Europe.
The Polish Military Aviation Plant No. 2 in Bydgoszcz, is owned by Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa; this is where the US F16s will be repaired. An agreement to this effect was signed earlier this year in July between the Polish company and the American company AAR Government Services INC; repair and servicing of the US F16s have already begun in the plant.
According to media reports, WZL No. 2 will perform a variety of repairs. In a statement Szymon Dankowski, board member and director of product development and quality at WZL No. 2, explained that this includes refurbishing the avionics, landing gear, and paint and camouflage areas. There is no word yet on how many F-16s will be repaired at the Polish plant.
The Polish company claims it is a trade secret, but the agreement between the two companies guarantees an increase in the number of repaired aircraft each year.
The American company is a market leader in combat aircraft repair in the United States. It enters into similar contracts with local producers all over the world, including the conflict-ridden Middle East. Polish media reports have said, the opportunity to repair F-16s opens the door to gaining access to know-how and new technologies.
WZL No. 2 has already received its first F-16 fighters. Mr. Mateusz Morawiecki, Prime Minister of Poland, and Mr. Mark Brzezinski, US Ambassador to Poland, officially finalised their acceptance. Mr. Morawiecki emphasised the importance of Poland ensuring its security by building a strong Polish army and investing in such inter-corporate agreements.
Poland has significantly increased its defence budget and aims to purchase the US 5th generation F-35 Lightning II fighter aircrafts.
In recent months, Poland has taken significant steps to boost its defence. So far, billions of dollars have been the most significant. that Warsaw will pay for the purchase of 1,000 South Korean K2 Black Panther tanks and hundreds of K2 Thunder self-propelled howitzers.
Warsaw also plans to add 48 T-50 Golden Eagle light attack fighters from South Korea to its fleet.