The Polish Ministry of National Defense has eventually decided that the Polish Air Force Su-22 Fitters will remain active for at least 10 more years. The Cold War era fighter bomber has been in service in the Polish Air Force for nearly 30 years now.
As reported earlier this year, Poland was considering to get rid of its fleet of Su-22 attack planes, possibly replacing them with UCAVs (unmanned combat air vehicles).
eighteen of the Fitterss in best shape are to remain active, including 12 Su-22M4 single seaters and 6 UM3K trainers.
The Military Aviation Works no. 2 in Bydgoszcz is going to refurbish the aircraft’s equipment. It is the same facility that takes care of the more modern Polish F-16s.
The main aim of the refurbishment is to make the old fighter-bombers more interoperable with other NATO aircraft.
Additionally the Su-22 engines are going to be refurbished by Military Aviation Works No. 4. This facility is located in Warsaw.
The Su-22s are going to be used then in accordance with their technical status. The planned modifications are quite interesting, even though the scope of works is not so wide.
According to dziennikzbrojny.pl website the changes would include installation of an ICAO and Eurocontrol compliant communications suite (8, 33 kHz channel spacing).
There are also rumors that the Polish Fitters are to get new instruments, scaled in the imperial units. This would also make cooperation with the NATO aircraft easier for the pilots.
When it comes to application of the old fighter-bombers, they will be an important asset within the special forces and anti-aircraft gunners training programs, taking over the duties already done by the Polish F-16.
Jacek Siminski for TheAviationist
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