US Department of State agreed to the Polish plan of procuring the JASSM air-to-ground missiles, which are to be used by the Polish Air Force F-16C/D jet fighters.
According to the information provided by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the potential transaction may include a supply of 40 AGM-158A JASSM misssiles for the F-16 fighters, together with dummy and research missiles and maintenance and support systems. The contract would also include modernization of the Polish F-16C/D jets to the M6.5 standard. Total value of the potential transaction has been estimated at the level of USD 500 million.
In the light of the Ukrainian crisis the Polish authorities said that they will speed-up the AGM-158 procurement process. The JASSM missiles have an ability of striking ground targets precisely at distances up to 370 km. Procurement of this kind of armament was negotiated by Tomasz Siemoniak, the Polish Minister of Defence and US Secretary of State, Chuck Hagel in April, earlier this year. At the beginning of September Defence24 has acquired unofficial information, according to which the modernization of the Polish F-16 may start next year. Adding JASSM capability was to be one of the main points of the programme.
Besides JASSM, the modernization was to include new mission computers, avionics software and GPS systems that would have increased jamming-resistance. The programme will probably also enhance the capabilities of the Link 16 tactical data exchange system.
The US Agency emphasised the fact that not only would the execution of the transaction increase the deterrence capabilities of the Polish Armed Forces, but it would also have a positive impact on Poland's defence capabilities. It should be noted though that publishing the notification for the Congress by the DSCA is not tantamount to actual signing of the subsequent contract.