Tag Archives: Ministry of National Defence (Poland)

Polish Air Force Rotates its F-16 Jets in Kuwait but it’s not switching to an offensive role against ISIS

Don’t worry, the Polish are not bombing Daesh.

Few months ago the Polish Air Force deployed some F-16 Block 52+ fighters with the 10th Fighter Squadron from the 32 Air Base in Łask to Kuwait, in order to take part in the air war against Islamic State performing reconnaissance operations with the use of the DB110 recon pod.

Noteworthy, the most recent photos from Kuwait published by the Polish General Command of the Armed Forces, depicting jets belonging to the 6th Fighter Squadron based in Krzesiny, near Poznan, fueled speculations that the F-16s might have changed their role in the air war against Daesh into a more offensive one.

In fact, the recce role in the Polish F-16 operational structure is assigned to the 10th FS from Łask, while Krzesiny’s jets are responsible for training and air-to-ground roles.

However, the Polish Ministry of Defense denied the speculations emerging in the mainstream media stating that the mission character has not changed and the Polish F-16s will continue to be limited to reconnaissance missions in Syria and Iraq, carrying drop-tanks and DB110 recon pods only.

Although the denial did not provide any detail about the reasons for swapping the units, such rotations are far from being unusual: air arms regularly rotate airframes deployed abroad to meet maintenance deadlines. Pilots (and supporting personnel) are also rotated so as to give more aircrews the opportunity to gain some experience in combat environment.

For this reason, some air forces deploy to theater their Expeditionary Task Forces that gather aircraft and personnel from several different units. That said, considering the official release, the speculations seem to be unconfirmed. At least until some photos showing the Polish Vipers with bombs under the wings emerge – but that would be another story.


Top image Credit: Polish General Command of the Armed Forces/Twitter. Image below: Filip Modrzejewski / Foto Poork


Even if they are ready to, Polish Air Force F-16s will not be involved in the Air War in Syria

According to the stance of the Polish Ministry of Defence the Polish Air Force F-16 Block 52+s could be ready to take part in an eventual operation in Syria. But, according to a statement of the Prime Minister, they won’t.

The ‘Jastrząb’ (Polish name for the F-16) Aviation Component achieved the combat ready status back in September 2011. It was achieved under a strict surveilance of 123 NATO Command inspectors.

The combat readiness means that the Polish Viper pilots are fully capable of taking part in any operations involving the NATO forces.

According to MoD the capability is constantly prolonged.

The readiness is verified in the course of the exercises, such as this year’s Raróg-13 exercise. Even now five of Polish F-16 are taking part in NATO Response Forces exercise in Norway.

Nonetheless detailed information about combat readiness of the Polish F-16s is classified, according to the MoD.

What is more it is still not clear whether the Vipers have AIDEWS (Advanced Integrated Defensive Electronic Warfare Suite) pods, that are crucial in a dense SAM environment.

Anyway, in spite of the Polish capabilities and rumors among analysts, the Polish PM has officially stated he does not expect a Polish involvement in Syria: the F-16s will have to wait for a real combat evaluation.

Thanks to Konrad Muzyka for heads-up.

Jacek Siminski for TheAviationist


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