Polish authorities are hoping to push for American F-35 fighter jets if the United States cancels the delivery of these aircraft to Turkey, RIA Novosti reports citing a Polish source familiar with the matter.
Dissatisfied with Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems, the Unites States is trying to give Ankara an ultimatum, threatening to refuse to supply Turkey with F-35 fighter jets. At the same time, the purchase of the F-35 is part of the plan to modernize the Polish armed forces.
“Polish leaders are closely monitoring the conflict between Turkey and the United States over the Ankara purchase of the S-400 systems. After all, this could put an end to the sale of the newest fifth-generation F-35 fighters to Turkey,” the source said.
“Poland, so to speak, is waiting in line for these planes. Even if the United States wanted to sell these planes to Poland, under normal conditions Warsaw did not have a chance of getting them before Turkey. And now Turkey will simply be removed from the queue,” he continued.
The interviewee noted that the F-35 are ready to be sent off to Turkey. “If the Turkish contract fails, then the prepared munitions would have to be redirected somewhere else. In Warsaw, they hope that Poland will be chosen,” he concluded.
Earlier, Ankara stressed that it would not refuse to buy the S-400 and the first order would be arriving in July. The United States declared that the S-400 is incompatible with NATO standards, threatened sanctions if the delivery was realized and repeatedly said that they can delay or cancel selling Turkey the latest F-35 aircraft.
In March, the Polish Minister of Defense signed a Technical Modernization Plan for the country's armed forces to be achieved by 2026. Under this program, Poland plans to buy 32 fifth-generation multi-purpose aircraft by 2026. Specifically, these would be purchases of American F-35 fighter jets. The plan is for these jets to replace the Soviet-made Su-22 and MiG-29 aircraft.