Poland orders 48 FA-50 light fighters from South Korea

Last July, Warsaw announced a comprehensive agreement with Seoul for a vast partnership in defense equipment, focusing in particular on 180 K2 Black medium tanks Panther and 670 K9 Thunder self-propelled guns, and a ambitious industrial cooperation and technology transfer program. In addition to armored vehicles, the Polish authorities had also announced that they were in negotiations with their South Korean counterparts to acquire 48 FA-50 Golden Eagle light fighters, a two-seat single-engine combat aircraft derived from the TA-50 training and attack aircraft. Clearly, the negotiations were carried out with flying drums, since barely two months later, Warsaw formalized this order for an envelope of $3 billion.

For Warsaw, it is above all a question of withdrawing from service the quarantine of Mig-29 and Su-22 of Soviet origin and inherited from the time of the Warsaw Pact still in service. Not only did the growing tensions with Moscow require more modern devices in order to maintain a sufficiently deterrent posture, but the maintenance of the devices became complex and very expensive, even if it no longer depended on Moscow. In addition, the rapid replacement of some of these aircraft by the first 12 FA-50 Block 10 which will be delivered next year, will allow Warsaw to increase its strong support to kyiv, in particular by delivering more spare parts. to maintain the fleet of Ukrainian MiG-29s still in service.

mig 29 Poland Analysis Defense | Training and attack aircraft | Fighter jets
The Polish air force aligns another thirty MIg-29

Initially, Warsaw wanted to acquire a batch of additional F-16s, while 48 aircraft, including 12 F-18Ds dedicated to the transformation of pilots, now constitute the backbone of the Polish air force. However, Washington and Lockheed-Martin were unable to deliver the new aircraft at short notice, leading Warsaw to turn to Seoul, with South Korea agreeing to send 12 aircraft originally intended for its own air force to Warsaw for respond to operational emergencies. The other 36 light fighters will be delivered between 2025 and 2027, especially since the small Asian fighter offers advantageous performance close to that of the Mig-29 that it will replace.

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