US to present F-35 fighters to Poland: USAF Secretary

The US Air Force will send a team of specialists to Poland to present their modern, multi-purpose F-35 fighter, the Secretary of the United States Air Force (USAF) Heather Wilson announced on Thursday.

Poland has voiced interest in purchasing the 5th-generation F-35 under a national military modernisation plan.

Ms Wilson, who paid a visit to Warsaw, said that the presentation team would arrive in Poland in May, and will be prepared to answer queries regarding the fighter.

She praised Poland for its serious attitude to defence, and recalled that Poland was one of the countries that met NATO's two percent GDP requirement regarding defence spending.

She also stated that Poland was an important US ally, especially in the face of mounting threats from Russia and China's innovation drive.

Ms Wilson recalled that Poland was among three countries to join the US in its Afghanistan operation after the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center attacks alongside the UK and Australia, adding that the US did not forget such alliances.

Commenting on the presence of US forces in Poland, Ms Wilson said over 4,000 US troops were rotationally stationed in Poland, and stressed that it was especially important to intensify Polish-US relations.

Last November, Poland's Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak initiated actions to accelerate the purchase of F-35 fighters from the US in face of a series of accidents involving the Polish Air Force's outdated Russian-made MiG-29 machines, in which one pilot died.

In early April, the US Defence Department announced that the US government was considering selling F-35s to five countries, including Poland.