They are the result of a deal signed by Poland on April 18, 2003. According to the document, the Polish government purchased 48 new F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft from the U.S. The deal, reportedly worth nearly $3.6 bln, included not only the actual fighter airframes, but also armament and support equipment and training for Polish pilots and maintenance crews. The armament, which Poland will receive in November, includes the AIM-120 advanced medium-range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM) which has an all-weather, beyond-visual-range capability.
Also arriving are the AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air missile, laser-guided Paveway bombs and the air-to-ground tactical Maverick missile (AGM) designed for close air support.
Earlier, 27 Falcons, which arrived from the U.S. in 2006, were built only for unarmed training flights and were not accompanied by support equipment.
The first F-16s in Poland ? called “Hawks” ? arrived in November 2006 at Krzesiny Airport.
“The decision that we made in 2003 to buy multitask Fighting Falcons was good,” said Polish President Lech Kaczynski. “This country with 38 mln people, which belongs to NATO and the EU, has to have the equipment to meet potential dangers. I will do my best to make sure that the modernization process in the army will be continued.”
The F16 Falcon is said to be the most capable fourth-generation multirole fighter with a legendary combat record of 72 victories and 0 losses.
The jet aircraft was designed as a lightweight fighter. Since production started in 1976, more than 4,000 aircraft have been built.
They are used in many countries, including Bahrain, Belgium, Denmark, Egypt, Greece, Indonesia, Israel, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, South Korea, Portugal, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, U.S. and Venezuela.