Tag Archives: Bydgoszcz

First Polish Avionics-Modernized MiG-29 makes maiden flight

On Mar. 15 the first Polish MiG-29 to have undergone avionics upgrade in the  Military Aviation Service Facility no. 2 (Wojskowe Zakłady Lotnicze nr 2) in Bydgoszcz took-off on its maiden flight. The upgrade plan aims at prolonging the combat potential of ex-Soviet made aircraft still being in service within the Polish Air Force.

Polish Mig-29

Image Credit: Jacek Borzyszkowski

The planes being upgraded are from the 23rd Tactical Air Force Base in Minsk Mazowiecki.

The test flying programme is carried out by three pilots from Minsk and Malbork bases. The programme schedule includes using live armament (mainly gun) on the 21st Central Aviation Range (21. Centralny Poligon Lotniczy) in Nadarzyce.

All of the MiGs undergoing modernization are said to receive the new avionics by the end of next year.

The scope of modernization includes changing the analog avionics to digital ones, including new mission planning computer and data bus, to which additional devices may be connected.

Furthermore, the mechanical gyro is replaced with a laser system. Digital map and MFD (Multi-Function Display) are features of the programme.

MiGs are said to remain in service till 2028-2030. The data bus will allow for further changes in the avionics if needed.

MiG bureau also took part in the programme extending the service life for another 20 years (the MiGs in Polish Air Force are already 20 years old).

The exploitation programme has been changed – the MiGs do not have to undergo general repairs each 800 hours they spend in the air, but they will be used according to their technical status.

The Polish MiGs have already undergone modernization couple of years earlier, aim of which was to adapt the cockpit to NATO standards (English language indicators and gauges).

Worth noting: the Polish MiGs recently received new paint-job with portraits of the aviators that took part in Battle of Britain. The portraits are located on the vertical stabilizers.

Jacek Siminski for TheAviationist.com


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Poland starts own F-16 Viper Maintenance Center

Poland has the most modern set of F-16s in Europe.

48 F-16 C/D Block 52+s  were purchased in order to replace the obsolete ex-Warsaw Pact MiG-21s, Mig-23s and other fighters (the only remaining jets in the Polish Air Force are Mig-29s, TS-11s of the aerobatic team, Su-22s – soon to be replaced – possibly with UCAVs).

Regardless of that fact they still had to be serviced in the US as Poland did not have qualified personnel to do that. This is going to change very soon.

F-16 Polish Air Force

Image Credit: Radomił Binek

The Military Aviation Service Facility (Wojskowe Zakłady Lotnicze nr 2) in Bydgoszcz has a new department – National F-16 Servicing centre.

It is the 6th facility of that kind in Europe, making Poland somewhat unique in this respect. The other countries in Europe that are able to service Vipers on their own are Greece, Belgium, Turkey, Denmark and Portugal.

Two year contract that was signed by the facility may not seem impressive, as the money involved is only 4 Million Euro, but it took 10 years to prepare the center for full scope of F-16 maintenance.

Long training programme provided by Lockheed Martin had to be executed. Nevertheless it was logistically comfortable  for the Polish workers, as it took place not in the US but in Bydgoszcz, on site. This choice reduced the costs and increased the speed of training.

The scope of activity for the servicing center is to provide experience to the ground crews in the F-16 bases (Krzesiny, Łask) and to carry out any repairs that are impossible to complete on the mother-airfield.

Jacek Siminski for TheAviationist.com

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