The European consortium-made Eurofighter Typhoon and Boeing’s F-15EX Eagle II are the “only two options” for the air superiority that Poland seeks over Russian warplanes, Tomasz Smura, director of the research office at the Warsaw-based Casimir Pulaski Foundation, told Defense News.
Smura, a resident fellow at the foundation who specializes in military technologies and U.S. policy, believes that while the Boeing aircraft has the edge over the other, he pointed to the possible industry gains that the Typhoon offers.
“Europeans are usually more open for the transfer of technology, and it could facilitate cooperation over future projects like the Tempest,” he said, referring to the next-generation fighter jet project of the United Kingdom, Japan and Italy.
According to Smura, Eagle II has a good shot given Poland’s history of preferring American-made systems and the political ties that they bring.
“Regarding previous procurement decisions and the fact that the Polish government is keen on U.S. cooperation, I would rather consider the F-15 as a front-runner,” the director said.
Smura’s remarks follow Polish National Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak’s statement in a radio interview in September that the country is eying “at least two more squadrons” on its fleet on top of the 32 F-35 fighter jets and 48 FA-50 aircraft that the country will receive in the coming months.
Poland ordered the FA-50 light combat aircraft from Korea Aerospace Industries, whose first units are expected to be delivered by year-end.