US approves sale of F-35 fighters to Poland

12 Sep 2019 / 10:21 H.

WASHINGTON: The US government announced the approval of the sale of thirty-two F-35 Joint Strike Fighters to Poland Wednesday, boosting the air capabilities of a key NATO ally.

The F-35s will expand Poland’s air force and replace aged Russian-made MiG-29 and Su-22 jets, said a statement by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

Using F-35s will boost the country’s interoperability with NATO, which is adopting F-35s for part of its members’ fleets.

“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by improving the security of a NATO ally, which is an important force for political stability and economic progress in Europe,“ the agency said.

The planned sale was revealed in June during a visit to Washington by Polish President Andrzej Duda, when two of the advanced planes flew over the White House during Duda’s visit to show off their moves.

Trump also announced in June that he would send 1,000 more troops to Poland to counter Russia, while falling short of Poland’s long-running hope for a permanent US military base.

About 5,000 US soldiers have already deployed along with NATO forces in Poland as part of a rotating pool, rather than a fixed garrison. — AFP

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