President suggests fast-tracking new fighter purchases
Polish President Andrzej Duda at a meeting with the defence minister on Tuesday suggested that the purchase of the 5th generation fighter planes should be sped up due to recent crashes of Soviet-era MiG-29 planes, the National Security Bureau (BBN) has said.
The President said the programme, known as HARPIA, should acquire the status of national importance to ensure state budget funding and make the procedure as efficient as was the case when Poland bought F-16 fighters from the United States, BBN reported.
On Tuesday afternoon, President Duda and Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak met with Chief of Staff Rajmund Andrzejczak and other armed forces commanders to discuss the situation following a MiG-29 crash in central Poland on Monday.
The meeting focused on issues "related to the safety of flying MiG-29s and the programme HARPIA (...) as presented by the defence minister last week," BBN said in its statement.
The HARPIA programme assumes the purchase of 32 multi-role 5th generation fighter planes.