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Poland’s Fleet of F-16 and MiG-29 Plagued By Problems: Is it Capable of Operating the F-35?

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Poland's Fleet of F-16 and MiG-29 Plagued By Problems: Is it Capable of Operating the F-35?

Polish MP Joanna Kluzik-Rostkowska. Click to see full-size image

Polish member of parliament Joanna Kluzik-Rostkowska sent a parliamentary request to the Minister of National Defense of Poland Mariusz Błaszczak to answer questions regarding the condition of the country’s fleet of MiG-29 and F-16 fighter jets.

This inquiry is a result of a report by Polish outlet Onet, which reported of the poor condition of the fighter jet fleet.

Onet has been describing the collapse in the Polish Air Force since 2018 with a piece, which looks into the cause of death of a MiG-29 pilot, Krzysztof Sobański, at Pasłęka, who died because of a faulty modified catapult chair.

In the following articles the outlet described subsequent aviation incident involving fighter jets, the cause of which was their terrible technical condition.

In its most recent report from January, the outlet signaled of serious problems with the MiG-29 and F-16. In the article “The brake parachute came off the MiG-29 fighter. A series of failures after resuming flights,” the outlet describes that after the MiG-29s resumed flights in November 2019, there has been a chain of failures, caused by the age of the fighter jets, and the lack of spare parts for them.

In the articles “Two F-16 fighters are written off by the armed forces, and many cars are not able to fly” and “Polish F-16. We are responding to allegations by the Ministry of National Defense of fake news,” the outlet reported that many of the F-16 in the Polish fleet were grounded due to the remodeling of spare parts to be installed into other aircraft, and, according to unnamed sources, two of which were decommissioned.

After the ministry’s statements about the dissemination of false information, Onet published its questions to the ministry along with the answer of the latter, which shows that the ministry answered only one of the outlet’s five questions.

And now, in February, the MP from the Civil Platform party, Joanna Kluzik-Rostkowska cites the outlet’s articles in her parliamentary request to Minister of National Defense of Poland Mariusz Błaszczak.

“I decided to make a request for two reasons,” she said. “First of all, I read your [Onet’s] publications, which confirm the information coming to me from other sources. The second reason is the mess around the purchase of F-35 fighters.”

The MP hopes that she would be able to receive the answers that Onet couldn’t.

“I understand that there is another formula for providing information to journalists, although I am surprised why the Ministry of National Defense did not write, on what basis they refuse this information. But if they are unable to share this information in public, then as a MP I will ask the to present it to me in a confidential manner,” she explained.

Kluzik-Rostkowska told Onet that the information she read in their articles was also fact-checked with other, independent sources as true.

In the article about F-16 we referred to informants talking about the so-called cannibalization, i.e. rebuilding parts from one machine to another. The anonymous source told Onet that approximately 30-40% of the F-16 were capable of flight.

“I heard that 37% are capable of flying. I asked the minister who did not answer me. At that time, I also heard about cannibalizing fighters,” Kluzik-Rostkowska said.

The entire parliamentary request “On problems with the efficiency of the aircraft of the Polish Air Force, including using the potential of the F-16, the failures of the MiG-29 and concerns about the full use of the F-35, which should be delivered to the Polish armed forces in a few years” can be read below, as submitted by MP Joanna Kluzik-Rostkowska to the Polish Minister of Defense.

“Dear Minister,

According to the reporters from Onet.pl, the Polish Air Force is not able to fully use the potential of the F-16.

According to information received by the journalists, it also appears that out of 29 MiG-29s, only about 6 are capable of flight (“Two F-16 fighters were decommissioned by the armed forces, and many aircraft are not able to fly,” January 31, 2020).

Therefore, please answer the following questions:

  1. How many F-16 aircraft were decommissioned? How many were written off?

  2. What is the partnership with Lockheed Martin, supplier of spare parts for the F-16? Is it true that Poland receives them late?

  3. Is the process of fulfilling orders for weapons – ammunition, missiles, bombs, etc. – being carried out and in accordance with the schedules, affecting the training process for combat aircraft pilots?

  4. How many F-16 pilots currently have flight clearance under any conditions and are ready to carry out combat missions? According to the presentation of Professor Thomas Darell Young, who works with the Ministry of National Defense and lectures at Polish military schools, during the international Defense and Security Monitor conference in Bucharest in October 2019, there are only 23 of them. The subsequent presentation of the Polish military attaché did not refute this information.

  5. Is the process of training pilots on other types of combat aircraft ongoing, guaranteeing the complete training of crews for operations in all weather conditions, day and night?

  6. How many pilots today are fully trained to carry out combat missions in any weather conditions day or night on certain types of combat aircraft?

  7. Did any (with specific numbers) accidents with and failures of the MiG-29 affect the decisions of their pilots to resign or change the type of aircraft they operate?

  8. How is the process of restoring the flying abilities of pilots of MiG-29 aircraft — how many of them have reached full combat readiness, which directly affects the level of state security?

  9. How many MiG-29 fighter jets are currently capable of flying?

  10. Has the lost braking parachute used by the MIG-29 on January 14, 2020 near Malbork been found?

  11. How do you intend to fully use the potential of F-35, if we are not able to use the capabilities of the F-16?

  12. In addition to purchasing the F-35, does the Minister have a plan to pull the Polish Air Force out of the collapse, especially since they will reach combat readiness in 8-10 years at the earliest?”


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Assad must stay

Why am I not surprised? hahahaha

Dick Von Dast'Ard

Something for the Polish to polish in their hangars… Which is where they will be 99% of the time.

AM Hants

Do the hangars still exist or also canabalised?

Pave Way IV

ZATO Poland is not ‘old’ Poland. What is left there for anybody to fight for? It’s just corrupt Polish politicians fighting for a spot at the front of the line to kiss some corrupt American politician’s butt for more handouts and bribes. I understand why the Khazar Mafia does what it does, but they’re delusional to think anybody is going to be willing to die for what amounts to minimum wage servitude. They’re only chance is to partition Poland and make the Poles fight themselves. ZATO isn’t going to get the Poles to fight Russia ever again.


It tends not to go well when Poland fights Russia, but who cares about history when you have memes instead

Pave Way IV

Poland would do well to ally with Russia and be a gateway to the EU rather than hiding behind NATO’s skirt for another fifty years for a bullshit fantasy cold war. They could have the best of both worlds, but seem too paranoid or too subservient to look beyond U.S. admonitions of “It’s either ZATO or Russia – take your pick!”

Poles (here in the U.S. anyway) are still thoroughly brainwashed with that rabid ‘Soviet Red Menace’ fanaticism and – for whatever reason – haven’t noticed it doesn’t exist any more. Lots of Catholics and they’ve always been on an anti-communist jihad. Poles hate Russia just the same as the old Soviet Union because… I don’t know… I guess they LOOK like the Soviets or something. Their biggest beef with Russia seems to be that Russians are not boot-lickers or beggars to ZATO, and Putin mostly does things in Russians’ interests. That could only be outrageous ideas in the mind of a Pole. Damn you, Putin!


All this mess hides the fact that Poland does not have a proper defence doctrine. Tying it to western bootstraps is not a doctrine but reactive decision making at best and corrupt military at worst. Invoking the Russian threat is monomania and doesn’t serve military realism. European countries should plan for the eventual dissolution of EU and think about what they would do if they had to go it alone. Build it from there. Poland’s political decision making at the moment is a basket case of reactions to various phantoms. Consequently they make stupid military-strategic decisions and end up with a defunct air force.

Pave Way IV

I got an idea for Poland: declare a position of neutrality like the Swiss and get rid of your military. NOBODY is going to attack Poland anymore, not even imaginary adversaries. If WWIII rolls around, you’re going to be little more than a speed bump for either side and you won’t affect the outcome of that war either way. Of course NATO will cry about your ‘lack of contribution’. Tell them to STFU and spend the money on Polish people for a change. You know… so there’s something that your citizens actually want to defend.

AM Hants

How many still have faith in NATO member states and defence commitments. Not just Poland that canibalises there defence weapons and systems to keep them in working order. Do believe, it is common within all NATO member states. Keeps the globalist and MIC procurement departments happy.


Being reliant upon Lockheed Martin is a bad deal for any military. You know what’s going to happen as soon as you do something that the US doesn’t like

AM Hants

So true.


And not limited to Lockheed Martin.


It’s absolutely absurd that Poland would buy F-35’s, a stealthy strike-fighter with terrible rates of availability (hangar queen). If the Polish really feared a ‘Russian invasion’, it would make far more sense to buy a large number of A2A oriented fighters that are easy to operate from unprepared runaways, for minimal cost. Something like the JAS-39 E/F would be far better, unfortunately the Polish government are complete suck-ups to Washington.


That’s because when you order Swedish aircraft Sweden won’t come around and save your ass in case you get invaded. And when you order American gear that’s basically a bribe to get access to protection from the US military machine. It’s like paying for a streaming service like netflix, only you buy it through buying US military hardware rather then pay directly. Because that would be considered a bribe. When you buy hardware both the US military industrial complex as the US voters that work for them are appeased/ .

AM Hants

After reading the above article, if in dire need of some comedy, linked to Poland, Lithuania and Larvia, go over to Stalker Zone.

How to Dismantle Russia:A Plan For The EU Parliament. It tarts with how to how Russia the success of Ukraine, post 2014:):):) as I roll on the floor laughing, together with the writer of the article.

Another article, Ukraine is demanding $30 million from the US, owing to failure to deliver weapons.

Do like the photo of President Putin playing ice hockey with the President of Belarus. Better way of sorting ou disagreements than allowing US to dictate policy.


You can order the best military gear in the world, if you don’t pay for spare parts and upkeep all you will get are hangar queens.

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