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US approves $6.5 billion sale to Poland of 32 F-35 stealth fighters

The U.S. State Department approved the sale to Poland of 32 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters and support at an estimated cost of $6.5 billion, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a release.

NATO-member Poland has requested to by 32 F-35A conventional take off and landing aircraft, along with 33 Pratt & Whitney F-135 engines, the Wednesday, September 11 release said.

“This proposed sale of F-35s will provide Poland with a credible defense capability to deter aggression in the region and ensure interoperability with U.S. forces,” DSCA said, adding that the new jets will “augment Poland’s operational aircraft inventory and enhance its air-to-air and air-to-ground self-defense capability.”

The F-35s will replace the Polish air force’s Russia-designed MiG-29 and Su-22 fleet.

The proposed sale includes a wide range of other equipment aboard the aircraft, along with a Full Mission Trainer, training, logistics and support.

The prime contractors will be Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney. Poland typically requests offsets, but there are as yet no known offset agreements for the sale, DSCA said.

According to Lockheed, the current unit cost of an F-35A is around $89.2 million.

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