Poland seeks additional munitions for its F-16 Falcon fleet


F-16C/D Block 52+ Falcon multirole fighter

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency has notified Congress of a potential sale of F-16C/D Block 52+ Falcon multirole fighter support and munitions, as well as associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support services to the Polish Air Force.

Under the estimated $447m foreign military sale (FMS) programme, Poland has also requested for 93 AIM-9X-2 Sidewinder Block II tactical missiles, four CATM-9X-2 captive air training missiles, and 65 AIM-120C-7 advanced medium range air-to-air missiles (AMRAAM).

Also included are 42 GBU-49 Enhanced Paveway II 500 lb Bombs, 200 GBU-54 laser joint direct attack munitions (JDAM) Bombs, 642 BLU-111 general purpose bombs, 127 MK-82 and 80 BLU-117 general purpose bombs for conducting effective air or ground missions.

The proposed package also includes nine F-100-PW-229 engine core modules, 28 night vision devices including six spare intensifier tubes, 12 autonomous air combat manoeuvring instrumentation P5 pods, a joint mission planning system, and five years of follow-on support and sustainment services.

The FMS will support the 48 AIM-120C AMRAAM and short range missiles including AIM-9M and AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles equipped F-16 aircraft supplied by Lockheed Martin to Poland in 2006 under the Peace Sky programme.

The nation already operates the Paveway II/III laser guided bombs and global positioning system (GPS) guided AGM-154 joint standoff weapon (JSOW), but has not yet fielded modern dual-guidance munitions.

The new acquisition will expand their operational flexibility in operating against moving targets and in as well as in overcoming weather limitations, while increasing Nato interoperability.

Prime contractors include Raytheon, Boeing, McAlester Army Ammunition Plant and United Technologies Corporation.

The Polish Air Force had three squadrons of F-16s as of 2011, including two stationed at the 31st Tactical Air Base near Poznan and the 10th Tactical Squadron at the 32nd Air Base near Lask, which will be fully operational by 2012.

Image: Poland requests munitions and support services for its F-16C/D Block 52+ Falcon multirole fighter fleet. Photo: Radomil talk.