The F-35A fighter jets Poland is waiting to receive from the United States will be constructed in such a way that any upgrades in software will be easy to achieve, promises Lockheed Martin, the jet’s manufacturer. The vice president of the American company, J.R. McDonald, made this announcement during the 29th International Defence Industry Exhibition MSPO in Kielce in southern Poland.
The F-35A jets will be built before some of the planned software modifications are produced but will be designed in such a way that any modernization in surveillance and attack capabilities are easy to upgrade via software application.
The planes constructed in version Block 4 will be covered by the TR-3 (Technology Refresh) program which will allow modifications of software.
In accordance with current plans, the production of the planes is to begin in 2022 and the first F-35 will be delivered by the producer in 2024. It will remain in the US at first in order to train 24 pilots and technical staff. The first F-35s will arrive in Poland in 2026.
The contract for the purchase of 32 F-35s was signed by Poland and the US in January 2020.
The contract is worth €4.6 billion and covers the purchase of 32 aircraft along with training and logistics. The F-35 was chosen in 2021 as the producer. The F-35 is a joint strike fighter aircraft which will increase capacity while reducing the need for large numbers of aircraft.