Head of the Armament Inspectorate, Brigade General Sławomir Szczepaniak, has signed the agreement related to procurement of the AGM-158A JASSM missiles for the Polish Air Force.
Scope of the agreement primarily covers the delivery of 40 cruise missiles along with a modernization bundle for the F-16C/D jets, which would, inter alia, make them capable of using the JASSM's. Delivery of the missiles is to start in the period after mid-2016. Test firing of the JASSM missile from an F-16 equipped with the “Polish Modernization Bundle” is to also happen that year.
JASSM missiles for Poland will come from a batch which has been initially ordered by the USAF. As representatives of the Lockheed Martin company state, price of the missiles will be identical both for the US, as well as for the Polish customers. Value of the contract is estimated to be as much as USD 250 million, approximately 33% of which will cover the modernization costs related to the M6.5 upgrade bundle for the Polish F-16 jets.
Works which are to be carried out within the scope of the modernization programme include implementation of upgrades of the ECM system, mission computers and data exchange devices. The F-16’s will also be customized in a way that would let them use new types of armament. The modernization works will be realized in Poland. According to the MoD’s press release, the works will be carried out “at the Air Force Bases”, starting from the second half of 2016. Works are to be completed at a pace of 2 fighters per month. First two modernized F-16 are to gain their initial operating capability at the beginning of 2017.
The event of signing the contract, which took place at the Polish Krzesiny AB, near Poznan has been attended by the deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defence Tomasz Siemoniak, MoD Secretary of State Czesław Mroczek, US Ambassador, Stephen Mull and representatives of the Lockheed Martin company.
Purpose of the AGM-158A JASSM cruise missiles is to destroy ground targets at distances of up to 370 km. They have been designed in accordance with the rules of the stealth technology, to make it possible to avoid the enemy’s air-defence system. Besides US forces, until now, permissions to purchase JASSM have been granted to Poland, Australia and Finland.