F-16

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a potential foreign military sale (FMS) of joint air-to-surface standoff missiles (JASSM) and F-16 operational flight plan upgrades to Poland.

Under the estimated $500m sale, Poland has requested the supply of 40 AGM-158A JASSM, along with two AGM-158A JASSM live with test instrumentation kit (TIK) and flight termination systems (FTS), two AGM-158A JASSM inert with TIK and FTS, as well as two flight certification test vehicles.

The package also covers an operational flight plan upgrade to M6.5 tape for the Polish F-16C/D Block 52 aircraft to include JASSM integration, missile containers, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, personnel training and training equipment, and other related elements of logistical and programme support.

Approved by the US State Department, the potential sale is expected to enhance Poland’s capability to address current and future threats of enemy air and ground weapons systems.

"The potential sale is expected to enhance Poland’s capability to address current and future threats of enemy air and ground weapons systems."

Specifically, Poland would use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats, increase its contribution to future NATO operations, and strengthen its homeland defence and air-to-ground strike capabilities.

The sale also contributes to the foreign policy and the national security objectives of the US by improving the Poland’s security, which continues to serve as an important force for political stability and economic progress in Central Europe.

Lockheed Martin has been announced as prime contractor of the FMS programme.

A 2,000lb autonomous, long-range, air-to-ground, precision standoff missile, the JASSM is designed to destroy high-value, well-defended, fixed and re-locatable targets on the battlefield.

The F-16 was initially designed as an air superiority day fighter, but later evolved into a all-weather multirole aircraft for accurate delivery of ordnance during non-visual bombing conditions.


Image: A Polish Air Force’s F-16C Fighting Falcon aircraft in flight. Photo: courtesy of Jerry Gunner.

Defence Technology