In light of the ongoing Ukraine-Russia War and in line with its newly inflated defence budget, Poland is actively evaluating the purchase of a fleet of F-15EX Eagle IIs through the US Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme to meet its requirement for a new air dominance fighter, according to Boeing.
Boeing revealed that it was actively pitching the F-15EX as a solution for Warsaw’s requirements at the annual MSPO International Defence Industry Exhibition in Kielce, Poland, on September 7. While Poland has recently purchased F-35A Lightning II multi-role stealth fighters and FA-50GF/PL Fighting Eagle light combat aircraft in recent years, the nation still seeks a high-end air dominance fighter to counter aerial threats.
Boeing’s announcement that Poland has shown strong interest in the F-15EX – the latest and most advanced variant of the firm’s venerable Eagle family of air superiority fighters to date – comes after Warsaw reportedly showed interest in acquiring a fleet of Eurofighter Typhoons or South Korea’s new KF-21 Boramae to plug the air dominance role, which could still be alternative solutions if the nation does not opt for the Eagle II.
Commenting on Warsaw’s interest in the F-15EX, Tim Flood – senior director of Global Business Development for Europe and Americas at Boeing – said: “Poland’s interest in the F-15EX confirms its dedication to the preparedness and effectiveness of its military forces. The F-15EX offers superior interoperability, supportability and affordability along with a robust industry plan that would support Poland’s goal of developing independent defence capabilities.
While details of any early negotiations – such as the number of aircraft Poland seeks, acquisition prices or budgets and a prospective delivery timeframe – have yet to be disclosed publicly, the Commander of the Polish Air Force, Maj Gen Ireneusz Nowak, stated that the nation should “have 160 combat aircraft” in total, suggesting that any order for air dominance fighters would be for between 32-48 aircraft, though this is not set in stone.
Since the end of the Cold War, Poland has relied on its ageing MiG-29 Fulcrum fighters to fulfil its air dominance requirements and these have now entered their twilight years of useful operational service. In March, this year, Polish President Andrzej Duda pledged to donate Poland’s soon-to-be outgoing MiG-29 fleet to Ukraine, before an initial batch of four Fulcrums was sent to the war-torn nation just days later. An acquisition of the F-15EX – or even the Typhoon or Boramae – would represent a significant capability boost for the Polish Air Force over its current MiG-29 inventory.
Poland’s interest in acquiring a fleet of F-15EX fighters comes just weeks after the Indonesian government formalised its commitment to acquiring 24 examples of the air superiority fighter on August 21. While Indonesia would become the first export customer for the F-15EX, this deal remains subject to US government approval.